It appears that Paul had both the literal and figurative in mind in this paragraph’ for he uses the reader’s experience of water baptism to remind them of their identification with Christ through he baptism of the Holy Spirit. To be “ baptized into Jesus Christ”( Rom.6:3) is the same as 1 Cor.12:13 which says,” For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.”
There is a difference between water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit( John 1:33). When a sinner trust Christ, he is immediately born in to the family of God and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.( the new birth). A good illustration of this is in the household of Cornelius when they heard Peter preach( Acts10:34-48). When these people believed in Christ, they immediately the Holy Spirit. After that, they were baptized with water. Peter’s words were this,” everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” They believed – and were saved.