John, it is truly shortsighted to blindness to deny what the Bible clearly proclaims. What does the Bible say is the purpose of baptism? Is it not to wash away sins? (Acts 22:16). Can a person be saved in their sins, or are they saved from their sins?
Short answer, NO!
Baptism CAN NOT wash sins. If it did then Christ’s atonement means nothing. Further if the sins are forgiven on an “act” of baptism then salvation is earned by something you do and therefore can not be received by grace anymore.
Baptism is a beautiful act, one that I think a believer should partake in but not because it has any merit on grounds of washing away sins or attain salvation by its mean.
This argument is really no different than what the Jews had in the early church, which is that a person must be circumcised to obtain salvation even though he has put his faith in Christ. Man’s old favorite thing… to do something, to obey and to please God, to achieve a free gift with a work, on a merit he wants to earn. But grace makes it all redundant and the sooner we realize it the better.