Jesus taught that baptism is a requirement for Christians. (Read Matthew 28:19, 20.) But what is baptism? And what must a person do to reach that goal?
1. What is baptism?
The word “baptize” comes from a Greek term meaning “to dip” under water. When Jesus was baptized, he was immersed in the Jordan River, and then he came “up out of the water.” (Mark 1:9, 10) Similarly, true Christians are baptized by being fully dipped, or immersed, in water.
2. What does baptism show?
By getting baptized, a person shows that he has dedicated himself to Jehovah God. How does a person make a dedication? Prior to baptism, in a private prayer, he tells Jehovah that he wants to serve Him forever. He promises to worship only Jehovah and to make the doing of God’s will the most important thing in his life. He chooses to “disown himself and . . . keep following” Jesus’ teachings and example. (Matthew 16:24) His dedication and baptism make it possible for him to have a close friendship with Jehovah and with fellow worshippers.
3. How can a person progress to baptism?
You can prepare for baptism by learning about Jehovah and building faith in him. (Read Hebrews 11:6.) As your knowledge and faith grow, so will your love for Jehovah. No doubt you will want to preach about him and live by his standards. (2 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 5:3) Once a person is living “worthily of Jehovah in order to please him fully,” he may decide to dedicate his life to God and get baptized.—Colossians 1:9, 10.a
See what we can learn from Jesus’ baptism and how someone can prepare for this important step.
4. We can learn from Jesus’ baptism
Read Matthew 3:13-17 to learn more details about Jesus’ baptism. Then discuss these questions:
Was Jesus an infant when he got baptized?
How was he baptized? Was he just sprinkled with water?
After Jesus got baptized, what work did he put first in his life?
5. Baptism is a realistic goal
The idea of dedication and baptism could seem overwhelming at first. However, you can progress to a point where you feel confident about making such an important decision. To see some people who did that, play the VIDEO.
What can help a person get ready for baptism?
6. Baptism means becoming part of Jehovah’s family
When we get baptized, we become part of a united worldwide family. Although we come from different places and backgrounds, we all share the same beliefs and live by the same moral standards. Read Psalm 25:14 and 1 Peter 2:17, and then discuss this question:
How does baptism affect a person’s relationship with Jehovah and with others who worship Him?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “I’m not ready to get baptized.”
If that is how you feel, do you think baptism is still a worthwhile goal?
Jesus taught that Christians need to get baptized. To reach that goal, a person has to build strong faith in Jehovah, live by His standards, and dedicate himself to Him.
What is baptism, and why is it important?
How are dedication and baptism related?
What steps lead to dedication and baptism?