The Washing of Regeneration
Baptism may seem like an ordinary thing, but it is rather extra-ordinary. Simply put, it is water combined with God's Word - "I baptize you into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". It is not the water, but rather these words of God combined the water that give baptism its power. In baptism, God places his name upon you and gives you this promise: you have been claimed as His own. Much like the direct "I to you" promise Christ made to the thief on the cross, baptism is the "I to you" promise Jesus makes to you that "Today you will be with me in Paradise".