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We practice baptism by immersion (dunking) because we believe it was the practice of the early church. It symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ AND the believer's union with Christ. It also emphasizes our complete immersion into the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Baptism is one's "official" profession of faith and marks a new beginning for those making this confession.
For the full treatment of this text (Matthew 16:21-28), listen to the sermon from November 9, 2014.