1 Corinthians 15:29-31
1Co 15:29 If this were not so, why do people get baptised for these dead ones? If the dead are not raised at all, why be baptised for them?
1Co 15:30 And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour?
1Co 15:31 I die every day! That is as certain as my boasting of you– a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord.
baptism for the dead
This text has really been abused and misrepresented. Paul is not saying that people are getting themselves baptised as proxys for their dead relatives. He’s talking about the missionaries and proclaimers of the kingdom who had first shared the gospel, and led people to Christ. If a person had been won to Christ, he or she would be baptised at the request of the missionary who led them to faith. That is what it meant to be baptised for someone. Paul had mentioned that some of those early missionaries were already asleep in Christ (15:6,18). He is arguing here that if there is no resurrection, the believers who they won to Christ had been baptised for the dead. Even Paul, who put himself in danger all the time — is doing it for nothing if there will be no resurrection.
LORD, thank you for those who now sleep, awaiting your resurrection. Thank you that they cared enough to lead us to faith, and baptise us. We know it was not for nothing.