Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baptized For The Dead??

Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?  1 Corinthians 15:29

I was reading my daily devotion today when I came across this scripture.  This is the one that caused me to stop, read it again, go back a few scriptures and read it again.  I have come across this scripture before and even had conversations with a person who actually believes in baptism for the dead.  At the time, I wasn't able to rightly divide this scripture so I didn't get into a deep debate as I usually would but the Holy Spirit led me to realize that this scripture wasn't saying that we should be baptized for the dead. That was a few years ago.

Today when I came across this scripture, I was able to practice something that is taught at my church known as SAR-Some Assembly Required.  The whole concept is to journal when you read and study the word.  Write the scripture, then ask yourself, "Why did this stop me?" then write a response.  In order to do this, you will have to go back a few scriptures, go forward a few scriptures and also read other scriptures that cross reference the one that you are trying to divide or understand.  I like the Ryrie Study Bible because it has footnotes and references other scriptures that relate to what you are reading.  If you are still unable to gain understanding, pray for God to reveal it to you and in His time, he will.

So back to baptism for the dead.  My response to the question, "should we be baptized for the dead" is, NO!  This scripture is referring to (those) some religions who say there is no resurrection of the dead but practice being baptized for the dead.  What is the point of being baptized for the dead if the dead cannot be raised??  They do not believe in the resurrection of Christ.  That makes their practices vain and their own doctrine false.  1 Corinthians 15:19 "If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied."

There are no opportunities for salvation after death, period.  So please, don't get baptized for the dead.  That is a doctrine of false teaching.  Because Christ is raised from the dead, we can obtain salvation through Christ only.  We must believe in His resurrection.  His death and resurrection have bridged the gap between men and God.  Romans 4:25 "He was delivered up for our sins and rose again for our justification." 

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