Each year, many young people who are being raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses get baptized. Are you thinking of taking that step? If so, first you’ll need to understand the meaning of dedication and baptism.
What is baptism?
The baptism referred to in the Bible is complete immersion in water—not just a sprinkling of water—and it has rich symbolic meaning.
Going underneath the water during baptism shows publicly that you will no longer live to do just what pleases you.
Being raised out of the water shows that you have started a new life focused on doing what pleases God.
By getting baptized, you publicly acknowledge that Jehovah has the authority to set the standard of right and wrong, and you officially make known your promise to conform voluntarily to what he wants you to do.
What is dedication?
Before you get baptized, you should privately dedicate yourself to Jehovah. How?
In a personal prayer, you tell Jehovah that you promise to serve him forever and that you will do what he wants no matter what situation arises and no matter what others choose to do.
Baptism is a public expression of that private dedication. It tells others that you have given up ownership of yourself and that you now belong to Jehovah.—Matthew 16:24.
Why is baptism important?
Jesus established baptism as a requirement for his disciples. (Matthew 28:19, 20) Therefore, baptism is still a requirement for Christians. In fact, the Bible says it’s necessary for salvation.—1 Peter 3:21.
However, your motive for getting baptized should be your love and appreciation for Jehovah. Your attitude should be like that of the psalmist, who wrote: “With what will I repay Jehovah for all the good he has done for me? . . . I will call on the name of Jehovah. I will pay my vows to Jehovah.”—Psalm 116:12-14.