I see your points, but the bible is full of symbols and they are there for a reason. Even Peter teaches this;<quoted text>
I get all that, but Jesus didn't die for symbolism. That is where Catholicism fails miserably and this has been taken up by the protestant religions.
He also didn't die so that he could "come into our hearts and help us live better". That is a lie of the flesh. The heart is deceitful above all things a desperately wicked. Who can know it.
When you get your flesh completely and totally out of the picture, then you can understand, appreciate, and trust what Christ did for you on that cross. Symbolism only puts the focus back on your "observance" of something, and on the "faithfulness" of someone baptizing you. Who gets the credit and glory in all of this ceremony?
100% complete belief, faith, and trust that Christ died for YOUR sins, was.buried, and resurrected for YOUR justification removes the need for ceremony. That faith and trust should be your testimony each and every day. No bathtub required.
1 Pet 3:21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
He says that it is the answer of a good conscience. Of course those who teach baptismal regeneration can't see the difference or prefer the physical things over the spiritual.
Remember this, a new convert needs something that he can, as he gets older, look back on as a point of his faith coming alive. This is why you and I remember our water baptism. It is a good thing not a bad thing unless we begin to worship water baptism as some do...