Welcome to the family of God. Baptism is not required for the forgiveness of your sins. However, it represents that you recognize what Christ has done for you. Do I think it is a good idea to be baptized? Most definitely, yes. I would suggest you prepare yourself in that you fully know what being baptized fully means before you do though. I hope this helps.
Lord's blessings on your journey in Him,
You can turn to Scriptures to reassure you of His forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive our sins & purify us from all unrighteousness.
Eph 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as god in Christ forgave you.
Col 3:13 - Bearing w/one another &., if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Do you trust God's Word? If yes, then we find the Word of God replete with assurance of forgiveness when we repent and turn to Him. We also find that this repentance is linked a change in direction, a change of life. Though we do not do things to be forgiven or saved, we will do things because we are forgiven and born again. Our desires change from serving self to desiring to please God.
Rom 10:9-13 NIV84 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (11) As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." (12) For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, (13) for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
While you do not have to be baptized (water) to be forgiven or saved you should desire to be baptized because He commands it and we must desire to obey Him and please Him.
I still seek God with a record of my sins, as I am not yet perfect, and know He forgives me due to the power of Jesus blood, and to seek to not continue sinning . as for baptism yes I did do that, but when John was lowering folks in the water Im not sure he said very much, in relation to what we do now. in baptism, so has it become some sort or rictual.
Keith I am looking at the first scripture did you read it as I am reading it. go get baptised and leave, and follow the Holy Spirit. I will not stay in one place while the Lord speaks to me an tells me to go, I have Brothers and Sisters in Christ who know and understand I will not dissobey the Lords leading and stay in a church. One needs to be free to follow the Lords voice and do His will not sit in a church and do very little , The church has its leaders and followers I follow Christ and His Holy Spirit. before I condisder what man has to say. If it is in Gods will also then I stay and share, and enjoy the wonderful blessings of being in a church but as I say if He said go Im off. there is nothing on this earth like following the Holy Spirit and doing Gods will.
Mark 16.16 , . I would add verse 18 as well. no mention of staying putt, unless thats what the Lord wants you to do. And Gal. 6 . yes that is the life a Christian is to live, and to bless with gifts, the Lord has given us to give and share as He sais if you have two coats give one away to he who has no coat, . Our gifts that are God given are to also show the world of His love and concern for mankind, Im sure you recall the guy who helped the one beaten up and paid his bill was he a born again baptized believer the one on the floor ?. but thats the part of shareing Gods love. Go out and find the lost sheep. It was nice to read the word with you. bless you.