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Aug 11, 2019

JEREMIAH 42-43:
I have always found it fascinating what Jeremiah experienced in the aftermath of the fall of Judah's kingdom to the king of Babylon. It is interesting to me that he was led away in chains along with everyone else captured. But the king of Babylon had heard of him and left instructions about him. And it is a shame what happened to Gedaliah. Evidently Jeremiah was not around at that point to warn him.

PROVERBS 7:
The father instructing his son continues from yesterday’s reading. This is one of the most colorful chapters in God’s Word. If you haven’t read this before, prepare yourself to be shocked! 

1CORINTHIANS 15b:
Yesterday we read the first part of this famous Resurrection Chapter. The first part displays Paul's rigorous logic about the fact of Christ’s resurrection. The second part deals with the kind of body we will have after the Resurrection. All of this chapter holds wonderful promises for us.

Let’s consider a few verses we will reread today dealing with being baptized for deceased people: We do not find evidence that the practice was widespread or that it continued. Constable’s Notes for this section (lumina.bible.org) cites information that there was a pre-Christian mystery religion in the area of Corinth that practiced proxy baptism on behalf of dead relatives. Some early Corinthian Christians may have carried this practice over into their new faith, or Paul may simply have been using this local pagan religious practice as an example in order to say, “What is the point of doing that if the dead will not be raised to life?” Paul does not mention this practice in order to encourage it, but to strengthen his point: The resurrection of all believers is a promise that follows logically from Christ’s resurrection.

GNT Translation notes:
1Cor. 15:1 And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which [you stand//your faith stands firm].
2 GNT That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless [unless you think now that it was useless to believe it in the first place.//it was for nothing that you believed]. NLT 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you[. 1) Otherwise, it was useless that you became believers in the first place! //2) —unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.//3) unless you never believed it in the first place.]
[This is a difficult place to interpret what Paul meant, and I think at least 3 possibilities deserve consideration, and all seem to me to be equally possible.]
21 For just as death came by means of a man, [(Adam,)] in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man[, ([Christ])].
32 If I have, as it were, fought “wild beasts” here in Ephesus simply from human motives, what have I gained? [0//But] if the dead are not raised to life, then, as the saying goes, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.”
29 Now, what about those people who are baptized for the dead? What do they hope to accomplish? If it is true, as some claim, that the dead are not raised to life, why are [these people bothering to be//those people being] baptized for the dead?
33 Do not be fooled. [As the saying goes,] “Bad companions ruin good character.
55 [As the Scripture says,] “Where, Death, is your victory? Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”

NLT Translation notes:
1Cor. 15:2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you[. Otherwise, it was useless that you became believers in the first place! //—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.///unless you never believed it in the first place.]
[This is a difficult place to interpret what Paul meant, and I think at least 3 possibilities deserve consideration, and all seem to me to be equally possible.]
29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why [have some people done that//do it] unless the dead will someday rise again?