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After preaching at an influential Christian church I was accosted by several congregants asking what I meant by linking baptism with death and resurrection. “I was using the words of the apostle Paul,” I said. “In Romans 6 he equates baptism with death and resurrection.”

Well, you make it sound like it has something to do with salvation,” one replied.

My answer? “This Paul didn’t decide that. The apostle Paul said that.”

The man went on. “Well, what about when you ask Jesus into your heart?

And to which Scripture would you be referring?” I replied.

How about the thief on the cross?

Well, I don’t think he actually asked Jesus into his heart. And remember, that was under the Old Covenant.”

Is there a difference?” the young man asked.

Decidedly so!” I answered, eyes wide with surprise.