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What shall the baptized for the dead do if ...

What shall the baptized for the dead do if ... details logo The LORD is near - Tuesday, December 17, 2013
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder Jr
What shall the baptized for the dead do if ...

What shall the baptized for the dead do if those that are baptized rise not at all? Why also are they baptized for them?
(1 Corinthians 15:29)

Who are “the dead,” and who are those “baptized for the dead”? The next verse gives an important hint: “Why do we also endanger ourselves every hour?” The question is: “What motivates those who follow the Lord and serve Him, especially in the face of danger and opposition?” There has been a whole army of such followers who have faithfully served their Lord. Typically, this gave them neither comfort nor wealth; often it gave them troubles, testing, and sometimes, sorrow. And yet you would never have been able to dissuade them from doing their work for the Lord. What is perhaps even more surprising is that there are new workers entering the ranks of those who worked before, and replacing those who have retired from the army of God’s workers to be “with the Lord.”
In one sense, the new workers substitute for the previous ones. They follow the Lord in the place of those who followed Him before. They have been “baptized for the dead”; they have become followers in the place of those called home. They have seen the distress and difficulties, the soul exercises and sometimes the afflictions of those who took this path before them, and yet they decide to embark on the same journey.
This would be pure madness-if there was no resurrection. If there was no resurrection then Christ would not be risen, and all Christians would have believed a fable. Then why serve the Lord? Why suffer? Why lose out? Why not simply “eat and drink” (v.32)? But, praise God, we know that “now Christ is raised from among the dead.” Our faith is not in vain. The gospel is a fact. Christ is alive! The more these things are a reality for us, the more we will be alive! The more these things are a reality for us, the more we will be willing to enter the ranks of God’s servants, and to work for Christ.


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