"Baptized For The Dead"
I Corinthians 15:29
There are many forms of religion that teach salvation by proxy. Papists teach that children are regenerated by being baptized upon the request of their parents. Many protestants believe that parents by having their children baptized seal them into the covenant of grace. Mormons teach that those who are already dead can be saved by someone living being baptized for them. They base their doctrine on I Corinthians 15:29 - "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"
Indeed all who are saved are saved by proxy, by a Substitute. But the only Person who could ever be a saving Substitute for sinners is the incarnate Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who "once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (I Pet. ).
Recently, as I sought to tell a Mormon about salvation by grace through Christ our Substitute, he brought up the matter of salvation by proxy and "baptism for the dead." Sooner or later, you will be confronted with his doctrine. I write this to prepare you.
The subject of I Corinthians 15:29, indeed
of the entire chapter, is the resurrection of the body. This verse of Scripture
is a very simple declaration of a well established doctrine. In baptism the
believer, rising up out of the watery grave declares his personal faith in
Christ and his hope of the resurrection (