Being baptized into Christ is not the only thing God expects of us. (See "The Gospel" for others.) Yet, it is the point at which one puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27) by participating in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12). Before dismissing baptism as an optional part of God's plan of salvation, we invite you to examine these passages.
Some would claim that requiring baptism would be "salvation by works." Yet, according to Jesus, belief is also a work (John 6:28-29). That means "accepting Jesus as your personal savior" would also qualify as "salvation by works." The Bible actually teaches that works are important to our salvation (James 2:24; Philippians 2:12; Romans 2:5-7). One danger is that Christians might start viewing salvation as an entitlement instead of a gift (Romans 4:4-5). Hence, in the book of Romans, Paul emphasized the role of grace (Romans 3:24) and faith (Romans 3:28) without omitting good works(Romans 6:1-2). What are we to conclude? We are to do everything God instructed (baptism included) with a grateful attitude, understanding no good work makes God indebted to us. As Jesus taught, we are just unprofitable servants doing our duty (Luke 17:7-10).