Thursday, 6 March 2014

Baptism for the dead

(links are attached to each scripture)

Last time in My blog I was talking about some of the "whys" behind all the Genealogical records in the bible. This week I will explain the other "why", namely:

"Baptism on the behalf of the dead"

In the New testament Jesus declares that "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter in the kingdom of God" John 3:5 and even He himself is baptized "to fulfill all righteousness" Matthew 3:15 

So it's clear that a person must be baptized if he is to live in the kingdom of God, But what about people that die before the have the chance to be baptized? Baptism on behalf of those that are dead was and is a practice that was used to give those that have passed on the opportunity to enter into the kingdom of God.

The whole of the scriptures talk about people doing things for those unable to do it for themselves the greatest example of which would be Jesus Christs sacrifice on the cross for those unable to make it into heaven on there own (namely everyone that sins) but there are other examples too. In the apocrypha there is a record of Judas Maccabaeus in which he collect money from the survivors of a battle in order to buy sacrificial animals (according to the law of Moses) as it says in the account in 2 Maccabees 12:45
 "Thus he made an offering of reconciliation so that the dead would be forgiven of their sin"

It's clear from this that in the old Jewish culture preforming thing for the dead that they could not do for themselves, both with sin offering and baptism. As with the great example of the Savior taking the payment for our sins, doing these works for the dead  does not save them unless they accept what has been done.  

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