Properly, water baptism is the act of a new believer being briefly dipped (by a fellow follower of Christ) into water and then coming back out of the water. This symbolizes the new creation they have been made through Christ. It is a testament of that individual’s decision to give their life to Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. As such, it is to follow their profession of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
There are some who preach that salvation is by faith in Jesus—but must be predicated with water baptism. They embrace an interpretation that, unless one receives (water) baptism, one cannot be truly saved. Yet, the teaching that baptism is conditional to salvation, or necessary for the finalization of salvation, doesn’t align with Scripture! At its very least, it’s a dangerous teaching that diminishes the finished work of Jesus at Calvary. At its worst, it’s a doctrine that purposefully deceives people, and demeans the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith.