What If Nebuchadnezzar Were Converted Today? Index
One of the most striking truths to come out of our study of the book of Daniel is Nebuchadnezzar's transformation. The regeneration of this mighty heathen king shows that the God of heaven is able and delighted to win difficult people to Jesus Christ. Nebuchadnezzar fought hard against God, but he finally acknowledged His leading. It took a revelation about the future, a startling discovery of the Son of God in the fiery furnace, and finally, insanity, before Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the God of heaven as his Lord. Lesson 6 examined the story of Nebuchadnezzar's transformation as recorded in the fourth chapter of the book of Daniel. Let's review it briefly.
1. What was the first thing that Nebuchadnezzar's did when his understanding returned? Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation:  
2. What change occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's thinking after his regeneration? Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. Before he acknowledged the God of heaven, Nebuchadnezzar praised and glorified himself only, but his encounter with Daniel's God brings about a remarkable change. Nebuchadnezzar is a new person; the old self-centered Nebuchadnezzar has become a new God-centered man.
3. What does the apostle Paul say happens when a man is in Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The apostle Paul indicates that genuine conversion is evidence when a person has become a new creature in Christ. It seems that this transformation had occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's life.
4. What New Testament ordinance symbolizes this change in a person's life that occurs at conversion?

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Baptism symbolizes the change from the "out of Christ" relationship to the "in Christ" relationship; a change from a life of dependence upon self to a life of dependence upon Christ. This is what Nebuchadnezzar experienced. If Nebuchadnezzar had lived in New Testament times, his next step would have been baptism.
The Symbol of Baptism
5. What three things does baptism symbolize?

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Just as Christ died, was buried, and rose again, so the Christians dies to self, buries the old way of life in the watery grave, and then rises to new life in Jesus Christ.
6. What does the word "baptize" mean?   Our English word "baptize" comes from the Greek "baptizo" meaning "to immerse," "to dip under," or "to submerge." Rather than translate the Greek word, we have made it sound like an English word. If the word were translated into English, "Baptism" would be called "immersion."
7. Who went into the water when Philip baptized the eunuch?

Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

When Philip baptized the eunuch the Bible makes a point of the fact that both of them went into the water. The only reason both would need to go into the water would be if Philip baptized the eunuch by immersion.
8. Why did John the Baptist baptize at Aenon? John 3:23 And John also was baptizing at Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. If John had baptized by sprinkling or pouring, he could have baptized at Jacob's well. Instead he chose this particular spot because there was a lot of water.
9. What is the only method of baptism that properly symbolizes the correct meaning of baptism?

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

If baptism symbolizes death, burial and resurrection, then only immersion can properly symbolize those events. When a person is baptized by immersion he closes his eyes; for a brief moment he stops breathing, an apt symbol of death. He is lowered into the watery grave, a symbol of burial. Then he is lifted up; he opens his eyes, he breathes again; he begins a new life. Sprinkling, pouring or any method of baptism other than immersion cannot symbolize the true meaning of baptism. If Nebuchadnezzar were living today, he would be baptized by immersion, for that is the Bible way.
When Should A Person Be Baptized
While baptism by immersion is clearly the Biblical way of baptism, there is a question in many people's minds as to WHEN a person should be baptized. Some people are baptized while they are still babies, while others wait until they are adults. What is the proper Biblical time for baptism? Does the Bible recognize infant baptism?
10. List three requirements for baptism:

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Bible is clear. Before a person is baptized, he must be taught, he must believe, and he must repent. An infant is incapable of doing those three things. Therefore, infant baptism is not scriptural. Since baptism symbolizes the change from the "out of Christ" relationship to the "in Christ" relationship (Romans 6:3-6), it would be impossible for a person to be baptized unless he had a conversion experience. Baptism is the Bible symbol that the conversion experience has happened. When a baby is baptized, there is no conversion. In fact, the baby doesn't even know what's going on. The Bible, then, gives no age for baptism. Instead, the Bible says a person must be taught, must believe, and must repent before baptism. Since it is impossible for a baby to do those things, infant baptism is unscriptural. Baptism is an experience for believers.
11. Is there any record in the Bible of a baby being baptized?   From genesis to Revelation, there is not a single instance of a baby ever being baptized. The first record of infant baptism comes from the second century, and then there is only one case in that 100 years. The Church in the early centuries would not allow a man to serve as bishop of the church unless he had been baptized by immersion as an adult. They would not tolerate infant baptism because they knew it was not Biblical. It was not until A.D. 1200 that the Catholic church decreed that if babies were not baptized, they would never see the face of Jesus. Likewise, baptism by immersion was the universal practice of the early church. Throughout the early centuries the Church practiced baptism by immersion, as can be seen by the baptismal fonts which still exist today in many of the old cathedrals in Europe.
12. How many kinds of baptism does the Bible recognize? Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. The bible recognizes only one kind of baptism, and that is baptism by immersion. There is no other proper method of Biblical baptism.
The Bible recognizes only one kind of baptism, and that is baptism by immersion. There is no other proper method of Biblical baptism.
13. What command did Jesus include in the great commission? Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The command to baptize is part of the great commission. The issue of baptism is not a side issue. Jesus considered it of such tremendous importance that He included it in this great commission to His church. We must not take this command lightly.

Jesus says we are to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He did not say that we were to be baptized in the names of the Trinity, but in the one name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Some have misinterpreted this text to mean that we should baptize in the name of the Father, then in the name of the Son, and then in the name of the Holy Spirit, and thus practice triune baptism (baptizing people three times). Since baptism symbolizes our death to sin, burial to the old way of life and our resurrection to a new life in Christ, then it is only proper to be baptized one time. To be baptized three times wold indicate that we need to die, be buried, and rise again three times in our relationship to sin. Likewise, it destroys the unity of the Godhead, because it would indicate that the Christian believes in three gods instead of the one God manifested in three persons.

Thus, the true Bible baptism that Jesus commanded in this great commission is the baptism of believers by immersion.

14. In his Pentecost sermon, how many people did Peter say should be baptized? Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

No one was excluded. Everybody was invited to be baptized. Peter did not just invite people who wanted to be baptized; he commanded those who repented to be baptized, indicating the absolute necessity of baptism as a response to the conversion experience. Baptism by water is absolutely essential. However, baptism by water is meaningless unless it is accompanied by the baptism of the Spirit. Baptism is the outward response to the inward change of life that is taking place in the Christian. Baptism, then, can only mean something when there has been this inward change in a person's life. The physical act of being baptized doesn't save us. Baptism is the natural response of the Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of his life.

15. How essential does Jesus consider baptism to be?

Mark 16:15 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 
16. What are all believers baptized into? 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. A person is not baptized into nothing. Paul makes it clear that Christians are baptized into the one body.
17. Into what body are all Christians baptized? 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. Paul is here writing to the Corinthian church, and he declares that the church is the body of Christ. What an exalted privilege, that the church of Jesus Christ on earth is considered the body of Christ. Pau; states that baptism is the Bible mens of becoming a part of the body of Christ. "The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47)
18. Whose name do people take when they are baptized? Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. When a person has put on Christ, he takes on himself the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, and is then placed into a body of loving fellow-Christians who will care for and nurture him. According to the Bible it is impossible to be baptized and not become a part of God's loving family on earth, the church.
19. Is there any Bible example of rebaptism?

Acts 19:1-2 and it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coast came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? and they said, Unto John's baptism.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The Bible seems to indicate that there are two instances that would warrant rebaptism.

Example 1: Acts 19:1-5 tells the story of some disciples who had been baptized through the ministry of John the Baptist. They had not heard about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul took them aside and taught this additional truth, it made such a significant change in their lives that they were rebaptized. From this example, it would seem that rebaptism would be proper when a person learns significant new truth that makes a major change in his life.

Example 2: Likewise, baptism is the marriage ceremony that unites a believer to Jesus Christ. If an individual who has been baptized slips away from the Lord, goes back out into the world and virtually divorces Him, then when that person returns to the Lord it would be proper to symbolize reconversion by rebaptism.

20. The apostle Paul was tempted to put off his baptism. When he was delaying, what did god's chosen messenger, Ananias, say to Paul? Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Because Paul had been such a persecutor of the church, he probably felt he needed to prove himself first. But God sent an angel to Ananias with a special message for the apostle Paul that he should not put off this decision. He had been converted, he had fully accepted Christ as his saviour; and he had been instructed in the way of the Lord. He was ready to be baptized. Nothing should delay that decision.
If Nebuchadnezzar had lived in New Testament times, he would have asked for baptism immediately upon his conversion. Since you live in New Testament times, is it your desire to be baptized after the example of your Lord, as a symbol and testimony to the world that you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life?