Theological Question was asked: “Which comes first, accepting God or Baptism?”
If one desires life, they must first repent (turn away from) of their sin (Luke 13:3), believe-trust-acknowledge Jesus Christ as Messiah who died for them to pay their sin-debt owed the Father, a debt humanity could never pay through self-righteousness (Ephesians 2:8-9), and thereby enter into New Covenant relationship with the Father and subsequently receive the indwelling Holy Spirit as their Seal and Guarantor of that Covenant (John 3; Ephesians 1:13-14).
Water Baptism is commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28) and “follows” salvation by grace through faith. Water – Baptism is not a “saving element” of the salvation process but only publicly demonstrates what has already manifest in the life of the redeemed in Jesus by faith; therefore, water baptism “follows” salvation (acknowledging Jesus as Messiah) and is a believer’s first true act of obedience integral with the daily sanctification process via the Holy Spirit.
Yes, there are a number of scriptures in the epistles and Acts that appear to suggest water baptism is mandated for salvation but a well performed exegesis verifies that water saves no one from death in Hell nor does water initiate covenant with the Father and only the blood of Messiah shed on a Roman Cross at Golgotha is the element of acceptable atonement that the Father acknowledges as “payment” for our sin-debt (Leviticus 17:11; 1 Peter 1:19).