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“Baptized for the Dead”

1 Corinthians 15:29


Recently a pastor friend asked me about Paul’s questions in 1st Corinthians 15:29. — “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?” I hope my response was, by the blessing of God, helpful to him and that it will be to you.

Perhaps, most likely in my opinion, Paul was referring to some idolatrous practice common among the Gentiles in that age. Perhaps he referred to some religious invention like infant baptism practiced in the early Corinthian church. In either case, Paul was inspired to argue for the resurrection using the unbiblical religious practice of heretics who denied the resurrection.

Obviously, he was not referring to something that should be done by believers. Were that the case, we would have to conclude that the damned might be saved if someone living were baptized for them, as Mormons teach. We would also have to embrace the Campbellite heresy of baptismal regeneration. And we would be compelled to embrace the Papist/Protestant heresy of sacramentalism, attributing at least some merit and efficacy to baptism.

I am learning in my old age, something I wish I had learned in my youth. — What God has not revealed we are wise not to pry into and be silent upon. At best, all we can do is offer baseless, presumptuous conjectures, trying to show ourselves wise above that which is written in the Book of God.

The Book of God is full of gins and snares by which reprobate rebels, who will not bow to our Lord, will be tripped up, entrapped, and made to stumble over Christ crucified (made a stumbling stone to them) by which they stumble into hell.







Don Fortner








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