Baptism is a God-instituted ceremony by which those immersed into water in the name of the Holy Trinity are regenerated. The institution of Baptism is witnessed in Scripture. The need for baptism for sanctification and justification was formulated by the Church in the 10th article of the Nicene Creed.
The energy of baptism gives life to the soul, assisting and advancing the faith in God as well as hpe and love, and grants the gifts of sonship and eternity. The cleasing of sin and the giving of newness of life are not seperate results of the two-fold energy of baptism but in reality are one ad the same. In baptism burial of sins also takes place. The Grace of God is given through the Sacrament of Baptism for advancing in the faith and newness of life.
In baptism every kind of sin, both ancestral and personal, is forgiven and cleansed.
The energy of baptism is transmitted by perceptible signs and acts instituted by Christ and His Apostles and the early Church. The indispensable elements of the perceptible acts of baptism are the invocation of the Holy Trinity and the thrice-fold immersion into water. The faith of the believer in the Holy Triniy and divine assistance for the newness of life is the foundation of the ceremony of Baptism. The ancient Church did not know any other canonical pattern of baptism save the 3 fold immersion into water. There are limited exceptions to water baptism for special circumstances - emergencies.
The canonically ordained bishop or presbyter is the officiator of the Sacrament of Baptism. The Apostles received the commission and the authority to baptize from Christ. They in turn ordained other disciples into the priesthood with this authority to baptize. The Sacrament of Baptism is witnessed in both Scripture and Sacred Tradition as the right and duty of bishops and presbyters.
The recipient must prepare himself to receve the Grace of God through Baptism. Baptism is the only gate through which man enters the Kingdom of God. The preparation of the recipient is two-fold: faith in Christ and His Gospel and repentance of sin, both ancestral and personal.