This article considers questions you may have raised and shows where you can read the answers in your Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to discuss these answers with you.

1. What does Christian baptism mean?

Baptism is a request for a good relationship with God. So, a Christian should be baptized, not when a baby, but when he or she is old enough to learn about God and become a disciple of Jesus. (Acts 8:12; 1 Peter 3:21) We become a disciple of Jesus when we learn and do the things that he commanded.​—Read Matthew 28:19, 20.

In the days of Jesus’ apostles, many people took action without delay to learn about God and Jesus. For example, when one man learned that Jesus’ death had opened the way to salvation, he immediately became a disciple. Today, many sincere people have chosen to become Jesus’ followers.​—Read Acts 8:26-31, 35-38.

2. Why was Jesus baptized?

Jesus was about 30 years of age when John the Baptizer dipped him under the water of the Jordan River. Jesus’ baptism represented his decision to do God’s will for him. (Hebrews 10:7) This would include his laying down his life as a sacrifice for the sins of humankind. Even before he came down from heaven to live on earth, Jesus had always loved and obeyed his Father, Jehovah.​—Read Mark 1:9-11; John 8:29; 17:5.

  3. Why should a Christian be baptized?

Our situation is different from that of Jesus​—we are born as sinners. Yet, Jesus’ sacrificial death makes it possible for us to have a good relationship with God. (Romans 5:10, 12; 12:1, 2) It is actually possible for us to belong to him as a member of his family. (2 Corinthians 6:18) How do we gain that privilege? In private prayer, we dedicate ourselves to Jehovah, vowing to do his will for the rest of our life. After making such a dedication, we symbolize it in public by being baptized.​—Read Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 4:2.

4. How can you prepare for baptism?

Jehovah’s Witnesses study the Bible with anyone who wants to draw close to God. Studying the Bible and attending Christian meetings will strengthen your love for God and your faith in him. It will also help you to cultivate positive attitudes and habits. Developing love, faith, and other godly qualities will help you live up to your vow to serve Jehovah forever.​—Read John 17:3; Hebrews 10:24, 25.

For more information, see chapter 18 of this book, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.