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Standing in Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2021 8:00 am

Standing in Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 29, 2021 8:00 am

The Bible never promises that Christians will be materially rich. But Romans 5 does explain how our standing in grace swells our spiritual assets. On The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Montgomery Boice details four of the great riches we are guaranteed to possess in Christ.

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The Bible never promises that Christians will be materially rich, but Romans five does explain how our standing and grace swells our spiritual assets coming up about Bible study are Dr. James Montgomery boys details for the great riches we are guaranteed to possess in Christ to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically.

Grace is God's unmerited favor in our standing and grace changes everything now from Romans five.

Dr. Boyce expounds upon the many expressions of the grace of God when I was approaching. Romans five my study this week. I thought of that well-known putdown you sometimes hear somebody who's behaving arrogantly you're so smart wage a rich I comes to my mind, because as we pass from Romans three to Romans five, someone might well say that justification is wonderful as you say it as why aren't Christian, rich answer that question the horses that they are Christians or rich spiritually, and that's what Romans five is all about Romans five tells us that our standing and racist swells. Our spiritual assets and the way in which they are swelled or leaves.

We have been given peace with God union with Christ transformed approach to suffering and sure and certain hope of our final glorification.

I will never disappoint us. In the end I was a great riches and we need to study that as we look at this great chapter on grace this evening. Romans 52 was the pivotal verse for understanding and it follows on from verse one silently read verses one and two, and then we want to focus on verse two and get the meaning of those keywords in our minds reads like this.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand is not an easy verse to understand the reason is that those four keywords access, faith, grace and standing can be used in a variety of ways. Often we approach them. The understanding we gain from other tax and sometimes slows various understandings of those various words are contradictory and whenever that happens, the first just doesn't seem to make sense to us. Another way to understand it, is to look at the terms and do it in the context that's what I want to do taking them in the order that will best help us get what the verses really saying let's start with grace.

That's the theme of these studies, the Old Testament and the new one is great already examined that the great length. Grace is God's unmerited favor all kinds of expressions of laughter's common grace saving grace. Sanctifying grace and persevering grace when we approach the text in Romans with only that understanding of mine thinking in the broadest way of grace were not really helped understand because Paul is speaking about particular grace here in order to understand the particular grace by which you speaking applicant of the text a little more deeply because of some close speaking about particular grace in one of those is he speaks of this grace left out the demonstrative pronoun. It merely said grace well we'd be expecting interpreted broadly but doesn't say that he says this grace and, moreover, not only is this grace of grace in which you spam what is grace in which you stand. While in the context of what is been talking about, particularly the way he's picked up in verse one that is obviously our state of justification. Therefore, he says, since you have been justified by grace you have entered in this state of grace by which and in which you now stand. So that's the way we have to approach the other terms also help us along those lines take faith.

For example, he mentioned faith, we have gained access by faith into this grace now what is that faith when we talk about faith, can think of that in a number of ways. It could have to do with our belief, that is, we believe, and had to do with our conduct being faithful and had to do with what we believe that is the Christian faith but is a mean in this case. Well, in this case it has to do with our faith in Jesus Christ, which is resulted in our justification as is and faith in any broad sense, this still is a specific term through that specific faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior that we have entered into this grace of justification. Let's look at the next work the next word is access.

That's the Greek word processor Gauguin has a variety of meetings it could mean the rights to enter freedom to enter and he can even mean an introduction and sometimes Bible teachers are picked up on that word because it's used in Ephesians 218 of the work of the Holy Spirit helping us in prayer and they said well Rosado gave means that the Holy Spirit introduces us to God, is proper in the context of prayer here that isn't quite what it means for one thing, it proceeded by the words have gained. We have gained access and the Greek language is actually a past perfect tense and translated literally it means Had so you put all of that together, but it really says is you have had access. Let's not talking about prayer because prayer say now enjoy the access that you have entered into the axis have private without saying that it's as you had your access into the grace of justification is a highly speaking.

Therefore, when he says stand brings us to that point, which we're jumping off in this particular study grace tonight. What is really saying is because you been brought into would stand and allow anything to shake you from that faith and that grace and that justification in the which you have been brought by the mercy of Almighty God.

Now that's the way we have to understand the passage now what were talking about.

Here's security in Christ and the difference being in Christ makes for those were trying to live the Christian life.

Now let's look at it in terms of what it tells us about that standing we have because of grace. The number of things. First, verse one. The obvious one is we have peace with God now that's a military metaphor what it says is that before we were justified. We were not at peace with God fact, the opposite was true about war with God. You may think Henry David Thoreau once reported having set because he had a godly answer telling him to make his peace with God replied where he said, but I'm not at war with God. You may think that your case but in your unregenerate stage were actually at war with God.

One way in which some people demonstrate their hostility to God is pretending that everything's all right when actually it is to go the wrong way ignoring God entirely Show your dislike of God any more forcefully the map where it war with God and we show it by the way we treat God, by the way we treat others and even by the way we treat ourselves know what Jesus Christ said when asked what the first grace commandment was. He said the greatest of all the commandments is that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength, and then he added a second. He said the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Now that's the duty of man is Jesus Christ sums up the law, but we do not love God with all our hearts nor our neighbor nor ourselves as a matter fact, the opposite is true. We ate godly hate other people and we even hate ourselves if we really understood what were doing by running away from God. One commentator said we would murder God if we could, we murder others when we can and we commit spiritual suicide every day of our lives were at war with God. We need to be at peace with God, unselect God is done in our justification is made peace with us through the work of Jesus Christ. I let's look at it from the other side you were talking about peace with God, how glorious that is because we are at war with God. It is also true that God is at war with us in our state of sin and rebellion. That's what Paul is been talking about in the first chapters of Romans where did you support his last few saying you're not a nice relationship with God ignoring him, but it's quite all right because God nevertheless is at peace with you, not knowing says your sin is not covered by the blood of Christ. If you're not trusting him for salvation.

God is angry with you. We don't like to use that kind of terminology today because people say, well, that doesn't somehow sound worthy of God is supposed to be angry people. God is perfect in his anger as he is perfect in his love. He loves sinners he hates sin, and the sinner who persists in his sin is under the wrath of God by virtue of his choice is obedience, but unfortunately that also has been overcome by God through the work of Jesus Christ because what Jesus Christ has done is make peace with us by his death on the cross. I was happy to see from the divine side God has removed because of the fair through Jesus death from our side. We have believed God, and are therefore found the righteousness of Christ credited our account with what justification is all about lumber talking about standing in grace. The first thing we are unable to do is stand in that new relationship that we have the God Almighty before we were at war with him and he with us.

But now we are at peace with God because what Jesus Christ is… That is a great spiritual accident on the second thing he talks about in these verses is union with Christ. This is a great deal harder to understand that one thing that makes it hard is it is presupposed for the most part in the first half of chapter 5 we get on the second half of chapter 5 is not presupposed with discussed. But even at that point it's difficult because it's hard understand it anyhow. It is anticipated in verse 10, that's not so easy to see the English translation that we have is there, if we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life now in the text of the Greek language. It actually says in his life for anyone who studies Spalding theology that's a clue what he's talking about when he says in him in Jesus Christ in the Savior or any variety of terms like that he's talking about our mystical union with Christ with God is accomplished in a way that we don't fully understand is that we don't understand it but we don't understand anything about various mystical unions are three of them three great unions. One is that union of the three persons of the Godhead in the one God, our we understand that the early church wrestled with it for several hundred years and finally reached a formula the people agreed on the great Council of Nicaea in 325 a day, but it doesn't mean that they really understood it all they did was find language that kept them from denying it in some intentional or unintentional way, which is one essay as any Jew would say that there is one God questioned about that we are not polytheists only one God same time that God revealed himself as being a God in three persons, God the father, God the son of God the Holy Spirit-3B1 and one B3 well there. Three.

In one sense and one another. Since we don't understand the senses we got really explained that nevertheless it's what the Bible seems to teach and formulas of the church try to explain it in human language as best we can. That's the first of the great mystical unions and then there's a second and thus the union of the two persons in Jesus Christ the divine nature, one hand and the human nature.

On the other say well to be a lot easier to understand the Trinity.

At least you only have to to deal with their case of the Trinity are dealing with Ray but is a matter of fact it was even harder to discuss the two natures of Jesus Christ. See two separate people somehow combined in one body is the one person with two natures you distinguish between the one in the chosen one nature to persons or one person in two natures of the church wrestled without a long time and they didn't finally come to a solution.

The background at least language and to be understood in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 400 years now into the history of the Christian church that you're interested in the way they sold it. Here's what the counselor Jocelyn said Jesus is to be acknowledged in two natures in confusedly unchangeable. He indivisible he inseparably the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved in concurring in the one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into persons, but one and the same son got that the short quiz next Sunday night. You understand all of that.

You're a better theologian than I what they were trying to do is do justice to what the Bible seems to teach us about the nature of the incarnate Christ two natures, one person, and that's the second mystical union out the third is the union of the believer with Jesus Christ and that we don't understand the first and we don't understand the second is not surprising that we don't fully understand the third. How is it that we you were born again by the work of the Holy Spirit are united to Jesus Christ feel united to Jesus Christ while you sometimes I do sometimes I don't suppose you do explain that to us. What does that mean to you exactly how is it that you are united to Jesus Christ.

They will explain that very well.

I'm certainly not able to explain it to get that's what the Bible teaches at all. Who makes it a substantial part of his theology of the Christian life uses the phrase in him in Jesus Christ or whatever hundred and 64 times in his writings because we are joined to him, says Paul, so that what is true of Jesus is true about his death on the cross. In one sense is that Stroh it's the innocent guilty. We can understand that Jesus dying instead of ourselves, we can understand that Paul says there is a sense in which when he died we die when he was very married and when he rose again.

We rose in him and when he ascended to heaven we ascended in him. There's a sense in which, says Paul, we are now seated with him in the heavenly places of what he said so clearly in Ephesians understand. I'm sure I don't but nevertheless there's a sense in which all of that is true. Now it's not surprising with the doctrine is difficult is not that the Bible takes a lot of pains to explain in one of the ways in does it is by analogy or illustration.

Jesus himself that the way Amanda gave a number of illustrations, best known perhaps as the illustration of the vine and the branches beset on the vine remain and may all remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself must remain in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me, I am the vine, you are the branches of a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing now the emphasis in those verses is on the nourishing power of Jesus Christ working itself out in the lives of those were joint by say I don't understand how that operates on that's right.

But we do know the power of Jesus Christ in us.

We are different than we were before we can think differently about things and we did before we have different aspirations than we did before and we even have powers to obey God that we didn't have before us the result of the mystical union but we don't understand exactly how it takes place to give another example Lord's supper. People who are sacramental us make a great deal of that and probably rightly so set.

For example, when he was giving instructions for observing intimacy took the bread and broke it. This is my body and then when he passed a copy set this sick, which represents my blood cup of the new covenant. So when we eat the bread that which represents his body becomes a part of us and then we drink the wine that which stands for.

His blood becomes a part of us it's a way of saying that the union is as incomplete and as lasting, permanent as it is when we each on the physical or material level are important, way of teaching the mystical union sometimes Jesus talked about a foundation structure being built upon the very end of the sermon on the Mount's away. Describe this union. He said everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock rain came down streams rose winds blew and beat against that house, but didn't fall because his foundation was on the rock that is we are joined to him because he stands we stand. We know that to be true. Go through things in our lives that wouldn't upset us and sweep us away utterly were not that we are founded upon Jesus Christ stand only because he stands with you say explain how it is that we are joined to him so that we can be described as a building based upon that foundation. Well we have a hard time explaining how that's true apostle Paul picked up on that he used a lot in his writings, he wrote to the Corinthians, telling them you are God's building. No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. And in writing to the Ephesians in the second chapter that building becomes a temple it's in is in him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord Christ that is possible. The church is not a temple not a sanctuary.

This building, but the church is the body of Christ is people were joined to him by faith.

They are the building and they are the temple and its indemnity.

Jesus Christ lived to give you two more illustrations that hit the members of the body. This is one of Paul's favorite images beset. For example, Ephesians, God placed all things under Christ's feet and appointed him to be the head over everything the church is his body, fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Again, here's a way to set it in writing to the Ephesians he gave some to be apostles of the prophets under the evangelist and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of service body may be built up and we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves blown here and there by every wind of teaching and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is and even Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament rose and builds itself up in life as each part does its work versus teacher couple things they teach principle of growth. Building doesn't teach that fixed thing, but the body grows also teaches the relationship of the parts to the head, joined to Christ, but not all equally. He's the head that tells us what to do and so we function at his direction or we should and then is the final illustration I've given for the last of marriage and its illustration. We ended on last time I arranged speaks of a very close union and is used particularly by Paul as an illustration of the union of the believer with Jesus Christ and the church all based the relationship of wives or husbands and husbands to wives on that relationship.

He explains that in the fifth chapter of Ephesians when he gets to the end. He says this is a profound mystery. But I'm talking about Christ and the church is the mystical union all over again. I want all that means is that if we are in Christ, we are secure in Christ normally joined to him were joined to them forever. We may not understand it something that's real and permanent secure in Christ. So the question is this point are you in Christ you really joined to him you been taken by the Holy Spirit enjoying Jesus Christ and the saving way is what salvation is all about.

And if you say to yourself, how can I know that but I know whether I am or not use the marriage illustration was talking about it last time. This takes those vows. We repeat the violence. The question is have you repeated those marriage vows. The Jesus Christ confessed yourself to be a sinner coming to him pledging your love sickness and in health of plenty and I want whatever it may be throughout all this life and all eternity.

I would be done at God who is on sodomizing that marriage has joined you to Jesus Christ and having joined you to Jesus Christ you become is forever.

Now Paul is talking about that second grade spiritual asset result of her justification is the third one Julian suffering is something that we find most mentioned here in these verses is that what I'm talking about is introduced in the first few verses of minutes carried on and developed as the rest of this first half of chapter 5 goes on probably all her tired atheistic rebuttal of Christian doctrine based upon the presence of suffering in the world goes like this. One form of it anyway. If God were good. He would wish his creatures happy and if he were Almighty, he would be able to do what he wished for his creatures are not happy. Therefore, God either lacks goodness or power or both. Alexa objection. That's insulting in its simplicity.

Insulting the Christians, not to mention insulting to God assumes number one of the mundane and all of life is that we be happy is not true. The ultimate goal of life is not be glorified in his glorified, even in punishing sinners as well as in saving those whom he likes to say that's the goal in life but even so it says the second point that it's all God's fault and that's what sinners always do.

We always have thoughtful it's not ever a case of recognizing that the suffering in the world, at least last and high proportion of it is caused by sinful human beings like ourselves in our own suffering is Bono long in large measure by what we ourselves now.

I doesn't mean of course that the problem suffering is not a big one, even for Christians because things do come into our lives and in a certain sense is even a greater problem for Christians because we say God is working in our lives.

We believe he is. We also think sovereign, but when things go wrong, we naturally say what is God doing and how can this be Joe would greatly ask this question poses a few important things in Romans five goes what he saying is that we can rejoice in sufferings and he explains why each of those terms of use is here to be studied and studied at some length with somebody said to me what's the most important word in all those verses in which Paul talks about sufferings, I'd say that the most important word is now in verse three. Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God and we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.

Perseverance, character, and character, hope that what he saying there is that there are three things that we can know and that's what enables us to rejoice in suffering. The world goes through the same things that we do, but it has an entirely different approach to one of the blessings of standing in her justification, understanding and grace as we approach suffering in quite a different frame of mind. Now how do we approach we not well the first thing we know is that suffering produces perseverance now different versions translate that word in different ways.

Some say patients as they endure, and some say patient endurance. I think it's helpful to understand the thrust of the passage by going back to the idea of suffering, or the comes just before suffering produces endurance, and say what's the word for suffering a lot of works for suffering in Greek this word is… And it has the idea of pressing something down that word with you about sledge that was used to press out the grain separating the wheat from the chaff would be a great wooden platform that usually had iron on the bottom to keep her from wearing away and then it was pulled around the threshing floor by oxen, and as it did it press down stocks of grain separating the wheat from the chaff.

Now that describe the worth… And the word is used for suffering because suffering often comes Dawson that form. It's a thing that simply presses a Protestant preciousness and keeps us down now. It's against that background, that this word endurance gains its full measure of meaning word is hypo Mona in the first part of it means under or below the second part means in the boat or living space what the word is saying is that we live under the suffering we abide under the sufferings you say no is that while it means that we are willing to do that is not as we say try to slip out difficult passages. Let's use a colloquial term to describe it means hanging in there even when the going gets top as it often does. Going gets tough.

God uses that to develop that kind of enduring character. Some ways you know that's the difference between those who are mature in the Christian life, and those were new believers of the believer as something bad come into his life and he says well I must've made a mistake or God is forgotten to take care of me for a moment.

I got to get out from under this as fast as possible and the one who is more mature in the face as know God is accomplishing something important in me and one of those things is developing this matter of endurance and so the Christian barns to persevere. That's the first thing all we know suffering.

Does that second thing is that suffering produces character, suggested by what I said but here using word and the word is Toki my comes from documents and it really means approved wraps an easy way to understand this is by the office action.

The ancient world coins were roughly made Mills the way arms are so all the pennies for the nice even role in all the dimes of the nice even role in quarters and so on. The coins in the ancient world are odd shapes and sizes. They bear a stamp and remain that way. But that silver, bronze or whatever the metal was her escorts out around the edge a little bit because they were uneven and nobody could say they had to look exactly a certain way. It was a common practice in the ancient world for people to scrape off the precious metal from the edges of the coin time a large coin game. I did scrape off a little silver little gold made put it aside and then when they had enough they have about the makeup of the coin coin that had had enough of the metal scraped away so that it became White's and was recognizably light to the merchants wouldn't be accepted by the many more than say no this coin is in the good and that coin was described as a documents that is disapprove disqualified all says in one place. Speaking of himself when he gets to the end of his life.

He wants to run his race in such a way that event be disqualified to be a weighty Christian. At the end you say that this way of talking about character and that's what Paul is saying here when he talks about sufferings you want to develop strong Christian character. Be careful before you say yes because the way is by sufferings suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and he put it in terms of light and have a disapprove coin is a light coin and we become spiritually light. When we drift away from God because God is weighty.

Incidentally, that's what the word glory means it has to do with his weight worth. So as we draw close to God we become like God and we become spiritually weighty persons right about by every wind of doctrine scattered by every breeze. That's what is accomplished in us by our suffering. Then finally the third things of Paul in the passage suffering produces hope means a confident expectation of our final glorification is in the hope of glory is what he says in verse two and it's a mother evidence of our new status as Christ only Christians can have hope of glory in the midst of sufferings and have sufferings actually contribute to their hope is this afternoon I was looking for a new book that has come to me, written by a man. I hope to meet someday.

Good Bible scholar, from whom I benefited by the name of John Piper called the pleasures of God, meditations on God's delight in being God.

We came across this little story and it and I want to share it with you now. It's about a missionaries name is John G patent was born in 1824 in Scotland the a godly family had to quit school. He was just 12 years old, because the family had 12 children soon as he was old enough to work at work to support them along with the father and he did that for a long time when he was 17 years old. The variance very deep conversion of the call to missionary work, although even at that point he had to work for 10 more years as a city missionary and Glasco among the poor children of the slums. The story begins when at the age of 32 we accepted the call to missionary service in the liberty South Pacific married his wife in 1858. Her name was Mary Ann Robson, and on April 16.

In that year, 1858 they sailed together for the cannibal island, and the New Hebrides first year they were there they managed a buildable house. Mary gave birth to a son.

But then, on March 3, 1859, one year after their marriage almost exactly. Mary died with fever and in three weeks. The infant son also died on Patton buried them alone all by himself. There on the distant island halfway around the world from home and he said as he reflected on it but for Jesus.

I would have gone mad and died beside that lonely gray didn't of course managed to stay on the missionary successful one that island for many years at one of the gifts that God gave them that enabled them to do. It was the final testimony of his dying wife almost the very last words she spoke before her death, were the she said I do not regret leaving home and friends. If I had it to do over I would do it with more pleasure.

Yes, with all my heart less character that's character produced by suffering that is the hope of glory doesn't fade away say justification is so great, why aren't Christians rich all be rich like that are more valuable and to be rich. All material treasures of this world as a final thing here at the very end. Paul also speaks in this chapter of the hope of glory is something were leading to which the of glorification. It's the same thing we find later on in the eighth chapter verse 30 those he predestined called us he called he also justified justified he also glorified. Justification leads to glorification because of God is justified is he will certainly glorify us in the end, now just two final points. First of all, this is a certain thing in our day. When we speak of the hope of glory or use hope in any sense. We find ourselves not being quite certain what we mean because sin in our vocabulary. Hope is a week or think of things like hoping against hope are hoping for the best. We really mean is there's not much chance of that ever happening that were hoping it might happen. That's not the way the word is used in the Bible. The Bible uses the word hope means something that is certain.

The only reason it's called hope instead of the certainty as we don't have it yet sir to get it one day, but for now we don't have it so the Christian hope, some of these verses.

Please make it very clear. Acts 226, 27, my body will live in hope because you will not abandon me to the grave. First Corinthians 1313 these things remain faith, hope and love order. Second Corinthians 1. Seven. Our hope for you is farmer Colossians 127 Christ in you the hope of glory. Titus 12 hope of eternal life, which God it does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Titus 213.

We wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. In each of those passages hope is a certain thing so those stand in grace. The grace of their justification stand securely because they know regardless of what comes into their lives, their final estimate is determined by the love and mercy. Almighty God, here one final thing. First John 313, the apostle is speaking of the return of Jesus Christ and he refers to it as our hope because of our hope isn't something to do only with the futures is drawn because it also has a present significance and that means those who have the hope that we will live holy lives now here's a way he puts it, dear friends, now we are the children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears at his Jesus.

We shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him buys himself even as he is pure. We live in an impure world is nothing in this world about us is ever going to purify us from our sin. Jesus Christ provides the power to do just that those who have that hope in him will purify them by his power. So we will go on grace to grace, from faith to faith and from strength to strength, from holiness to holiness. Until that day when by the grace of God we actually CRC face-to-face father, we thank you for the great difference.

Justification makes enabling us to stand in grace. In all these ways, we've explored on the basis of Paul's teaching. We confess that we don't live up to.

Many of these things very well. We recognize the change. We are in Christ, we are not what we were and we know that to be true.

We are new creatures in Christ we have a new destiny. We approach all of life, including its sufferings differently of all, we have a different relationship to go because we stand before you. Not as enemies, father, bless us and that relationship is retried by your grace to live the Christian life and live holy lives because that's the estimate you set before us to empower us to do so. Bless us that at the end of our days we see Jesus Christ are made like him by your grace. Look at us and say we trust he will say well done good and faithful servant better individually of your Lord Jesus, you are listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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