Effects of Denying the Resurrection

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What does it mean when it says to be “baptized for the dead” (v. 29)? The Bible Knowledge Commentary says that “up to 200 explanations have been given for this verse. Some, such as the Mormons, believe it means “proxy baptism”, where a believer is baptized on behalf of a dead relative; but there is no reference to this in the entire New Testament. In fact, scripture makes it plain that baptism never saves anyone. Possibly some in Corinth were propounding this false view of baptism and Paul used it as an argument against those who denied the resurrection.

The phrase, “I die daily” (v. 31), refers to the physical dangers Paul faced as a servant of Christ (II Cor. 11:23-28). Paul’s life was in such constant jeopardy that he never knew when he might be called upon to give his life. He makes it plain that sacrifice in Christian service such as he was making would be useless if there was no resurrection. Furthermore, if there is no resurrection, then what we do with our bodies will have no bearing on our future. 

Paul goes on to tell the Christians that they need to wake up to righteousness and quit thinking that they are spiritually superior. The denial of the resurrection suggests that those who hold to such a view are literally “ignorant of God.” It was shameful that the church in Corinth had allowed people in their assembly to have called such an important truth into question. Paul insists that the Corinthians must not associate with those who say that there is no resurrection.


I must never let my relationships with unbelievers lead me away from Christ or cause my faith to waiver. It is very important whom I choose as my close friends.

I Corinthians 15:29-34 (English Standard Version)

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