We believe in the believer's baptism by full immersion in water. We baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by the authority or name of Jesus. (Matt 28:19) We believe that when someone is saved they are then commanded to be baptized as is recorded in the book of Acts.
Roman's 6 describes baptism as representing a burial with Christ, and symbolizing His resurrection. We believe that baptism identifies the believer with Christ as a witness to the world and the Church. In other words it is an outward sign of an inward commitment, and often validates the authenticity of the believer.
The overwhelming majority of verses dealing with what constitutes "salvation" in the New Testament, around 150, exclude any mention of baptism. About 4 verse couple baptism with salvation, therefore we do not believe in baptismal regeneration (salvation by baptism.) Paul explained in Eph 2:8-10 that we are not saved by works, baptism however is a work (a witness) that God has prepared for us as believers.
Oftentimes, even today, it is unclear if someone is truly committed to Christ until they are baptized, and in that respect it is very closely linked with the issue of salvation. That was the case in Jesus' day, a Jew being baptized was almost considered treason. I would question anyone who claimed salvation, yet refused to be baptized.
Therefore we believe that a Christian is saved by faith alone through belief and confession Rom 10:8-10. Paul would go as far as to say, "I thank God that I baptized none of you"...and "God did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel." 1 Cor 1:14 &17 If baptism was what saves us it would be considered part of the gospel.
I don't believe that this is necessarily as big of an issue as many people make it to be. It really depends where the individual being baptized is placing their trust. I guess the danger is that someone might think they are saved because they were baptized, placing their trust in their baptism, rather than in the finished work of Jesus Christ. I know many people who have believed that baptism was the moment they were "saved" but they are trusting Jesus, not baptism, as what was saving them. They in effect chose baptism as their moment of public confession. I don't doubt their salvation. However, I have had people show me a baptism certificate to authenticate their salvation, and that made me question where their faith was centered, in their work, or in the work of Jesus.
Having said all of that, I do believe that baptism is essential for the believer because it is commanded by Christ, and it is practiced by all those who believe in the book of Acts. Some of whom were obviously saved before being Baptized as in Acts chapter 10. But if a person makes a death bed confession, and trusts Christ before they slip into eternity, I believe they are saved.