It should be accepted as a fundamental truth among those called "Baptists" that water baptism publicly identifies a believer with Christ. It is generally agreed among Baptists that baptism identifies you with the "gospel" of Christ in the act of immersion that figuratively provides a "likeness" of the gospel of his death, burial and resurrection. Therefore, I am not going to the trouble of defending that elementary truth that water baptism identifies the believer figuratively with the gospel of Christ, but will advance what I believe is the Biblical teaching that baptism identifies the believer publicly with Christ. 1. Baptism identifies the believer figuratively with the gospel of Christ. 2. Baptism identifies the believer with the "the doctrine of Christ" Notice where baptism is placed in the Great commission and by whom baptism is administered. The purpose of the great commission is to "make disciples." The process of the Great commission is defined by three participles that modify that main verb ("go" "baptizing" "teaching to observe"). The first participle "go" translates an Aorist tense participle which shows the action of this particple preceded the action of the primary verb which is also Aorist in tense. What does that mean? It means that Jesus has assumed they have already gone preaching the gospel to all nations and there has been a proper response to the gospel by those identified in Matthew 28:19-20 by the pronoun "them." Theologically, it demands gospel conversion precedes water baptism and instruction as the next two participles are found in the present tense showing identical action with the main verb. Second, those authorized to administer baptism are not generic Christians but are those who have already been discipled through this very same process. Proof? They are called "disciples" and Christ has been teaching them how to observe all things he commanded since the baptism of John to the time he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:21-22). So Christ is not authorizing anyone to go preach "another gospel" than what he preached (Jn. 3:16) or commanded. So Christ is not authorizing anyone to administer another baptism than the baptism he submitted unto (Mt. 3:15) and administered through his disciples (Jn. 4:1-2) as to reject that baptism was to reject the counsel of God (Lk. 7:29-30) and that baptism was the only existent baptism when the commission was given and the only possible one that he could say "I HAVE commanded." Next, he did not administer any Christian to go teach some other faith and practice than what he "commanded" as to do so is to depart from the faith rather than to contend for the faith. So, those authorized were disciples indeed or "followers" in the same gospel, same baptism and same faith and practice. This is the true identity of those authorized to administer baptism as Christ but wanted believers to publicly identify with Christ's gospel ("go preach the gospel") and Christ's baptism and Christ's faith and practice. Finally, the Biblical administration of water baptism is inseparably connected with every major aspect of New Testament theology. 1. The doctrine of God - "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" 2. The doctrine of salvation - baptism follows gospel conversion, figure of the gospel 3. The doctrine of sin - "baptism of repentance" 4. The doctrine of Ecclesiology - "added unto them...the church" - Acts 2:41,46 5. The doctrine of eschatology - the figure of the resurrection in immersion - 1 Cor. 15 6. The doctrine of Sanctification - first step of obedience - "raised unto life" prefigured in baptism 7. The doctrine of Great Commission - Mt. 28:19-20 Water baptism is designed to public identiying with the "doctrine" of Christ. 3. Water Baptism publicly identifies you with the Church of Christ The authorized administrator of baptism in the Great commission are those identified by the pronoun "ye" rather than those identified by the word "nations" or the pronoun "them." It is those who have already been through this discipleship process (saved, baptized, assembled observing believers). Christ never authorized those who go preaching "another gospel" because they are accursed (Gal. 1:8-9). Christ never authorized anyone to administer another baptism because that is to reject the counsel of God (Lk. 7:29-30). Christ never authorized anyone to teach another faith and practice as that is apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1) and excludable offence (2 Thes. 3:6). Christ authorized "disciples" or those LIKE FAITH AND ORDER in this three process commission to baptize. Furthermore, he authorized those in a church membership relationship as it is impossible to obey the third process apart from actual membership in a New Testament church. The command is to teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded: First, it is impossible in that day to do this without actually regularly assembling with them (Acts 1:21-22). Second, it is impossible to teach them to observe "all things" apart from being members of the same church as Matthew 18:15-17 is to be observed and yet it cannot be observed except in church membership capacity. Matthew 26:12-30 is to be observed but it cannot be observed apart from actually assembling in one place together to do it (1 Cor. 11:17-20; Acts 2:40-41). This is a command to reproduce churches of like faith and order as seen in the book of Acts and as seen in the epistles where the contextual "we...us...ye....you" are all members in one kind of church - the New Testament kind and individually members of one numerical church - the church where they attend.