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Abounding Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2021 8:00 am

Abounding Grace

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 1, 2021 8:00 am

God doesn't dole out grace in a miserly way. He gives 100% grace that utterly and powerfully overwhelms the sin in our lives. Dr. Boice tells of the undiminishing, superabounding grace of God!

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God doesn't dole out grace in a miserly way, he gives 100% grace that utterly and powerfully overwhelms the sin in our lives coming up on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce tells of the on diminishing super abounding grace of God. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. It's common to feel that we lose a little bit of God's favor whenever we fall into sin. Yet today, from Romans five. Dr. Boyce explains why grace doesn't fade and why there is no such thing as a second-class Christian like you look with me that the last two verses of Romans five, which are among the truly great verses of the Bible all the verses Bible are great.

Of course, some always strike us as being greater than others, and these are among them. Maybe. Perhaps not in the thinking of many, many people we were asked to list the greatest verses in the Bible we probably think of John 316 mentioned ladder Ephesians 289 the 23rd Psalm are many such things, but certainly these verses are great like bright beacon on a dark night dark night is caused by the misery and proliferation of human sin and in the midst of all that sentiment is all about us all its desperate darkness.

This text shines forth brilliantly telling us that where sin increased rates increased all the more so than just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. On the first of those two verses Romans 520 was a life text of John Bunyan Bunyan is the author of Pilgrim's progress. As you know, that certainly explains his understanding of the Christian life in Christian experience with his own biography that is his own personal life.

The details of his life are found not so much in Pilgrim's progress. But then a book called grace abounding to the chief of sinners title of that book was made up and park from our text, which in the King James version that Bunyan used red where sin abounded, abounded all the more, and also from first Timothy 115, where Paul refers to himself as the chief of sinners. Bunyan took those two verses and put them together and said that's my life story I was the chief of sinners, but where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more. He was born 1628 and very poor parents. He had very limited education. His father was a tinkerer, Tinker was somebody when around mended pots and pans, and he followed in his father's footsteps. For a while so he was known as a tinkerer of Bedford which is where he was born and where he lived as a young man he lived a profligate life and he was sensitive to send by the grace of God. He came to despise it and it seemed to MN is sinful and lecherous state that even the sun and the heaven was refusing to shine upon described in his autobiography how he thought that the tiles in the rows and the stones in the streets and Bedford were crying out against them.

They didn't even want them to walk on the streets or look upon the tiles. So great was his sin, he felt the blasting begins Jesus Christ but God saved him and God gave him a sense of great peace and he described it as this binding grace which overcame sin, even in the chief of sinners, which is how he thought about himself now. It's hard to do justice to this verse. Even in translation.

The new international version uses that word increased twice, are aware from a translation of verse 21's of sin where sin is said to have increased in the second time of grace for grace is said to increase the new international version says grace increased all the more. That's reasonably accurate but it doesn't quite tap into the richness of the verse much, because in the original language. There are two different words. There are the word that that new international version renders those increase the first word is plan on selling it. Based on the ad verb or noun catalyst which means much of many and select kind of refers to a numerical increase and then back respect the new international version does quite well. The second word is and why The second word is Paris you when it means to overflow or abound are to have more than enough and is not referring so much to number as it is to access have abundant access is what it really means, and then in case we would miss the point. Paul adds the work repair to it are way of thinking about would be the word super.

So what Paul is really saying is that it's super abounded or super overflowed that that you can well understand increases the contrast and greatly magnifies what Paul wants to say about grace while we know the King James version that used the word abound where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.

But the new international their new American in the revised standard versions do better because I use the word increase in the first part and the word abound in the second part and so they get a translation like this where sin increased, grace abounded all the more I work in close, maybe even yet my cousin about the new English Bible it says where sin was thus multiplied.

Grace is measurably exceeded at her this JB Phillips paraphrases the verse though sin is shown to be wide and deep.

Thank God's grace is wider and deeper still. Or how about Donna Ray Barnhouse. He suggested this, where sin reached a high watermark grace completely flooded the world or Dean Martin Lloyd Jones.

He is the word engulfed; grace of flood sweeps everything before it well what Paul says in verse 20 is what is going to continue to say in the remainder of the sentence going on in the verse 21 sinners had its day is what he saying handed done very well for itself is ruined the world in which we live, where sin abounded, where sin increased where it rained. Grace intervenes overcame in a spectacular way and abounded showing the victory to be the victory of God. Now that's a sense of those last two verses of Romans five.

When you see a few things about grace which is clear in the text in the first one is less. Grace is not withheld because of sin, we don't think this way because a normal life.

We operate the opposite with people. If someone offends us we tend to withdraw and we cease to be gracious to them and if they offend us a great deal we find it hard even to be civil sometimes of the defendant is a great deal. We shut ourselves off from them entirely. That's the way we function, but this verse tells us that God in his grace is not like that. On the contrary, where sin increases on our part race abounds on the part of God helped us think of that in history a little bit history that we have in the Scriptures. How about the case of Adam and Eve. We were thinking about that week. First began the studies quite a few months ago, Adam and Eve and been placed in an ideal environment been given every possible blessing God had warned them about the tree that was planted in the middle of the garden, saying, you must not eat of it because the day in which you eat of it you will surely die, and they ate of it anyway. There's the situation Adam and Eve in the garden, having violated the command of God standing under the threat of his judgment the day in which you eat of it you really die while they're standing there wondering what's going to happen, that your God coming in the garden must've expected median execution of the sentence must've expected to die right away but that is not what they found. God didn't withhold his grace because of their sin. Instead, we find them making great promises of grace, so in the midst of the judgment because he did pronounce a judgment upon the serpent, who was the vehicle of the sin upon even upon Adam, God nevertheless pointed forward to the delivery was to come. He said the one is coming will be part of the woman and he is going to crush the head of Satan.

Even though Satan is going to wound up in the keel that was obviously pointing forward to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

See grace is not withheld because of sin. Instead, grace abounded is take a second example in the days of Moses after God and great power about the people of Israel out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness and Moses had gone up in the mountain Mount Sinai to receive the law of God and God and explaining what it was that he required.

I am the Lord your God brought you out of the land of Egypt, you shall have no other gods before me shall not make unto yourself any image in heaven above or on the earth beneath the waters of the earth, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children under the federal fourth generations of them that hate me, but showing love to thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments, God was giving that very command up on the mountain.

The people were down in the valley breaking all the laws of God and chiefly that one God was saying no other gods before me.

And they were making God's Sort of like the gods they had known in Egypt, probably the worship of Hathor the collar of the pool which were two of the gods of Egypt. It was the bull.

Well, they were thinking of the power of the heathen gods. The gods of Egypt you would expect that to be a scene of great judgment that indeed God did express himself that way said to Moses, and not only is a test to heighten the grace that was going to, step aside on the downwind amount of time and to destroy them and then I begin again with your life to start with the new people you will be a new Abraham and Moses interceded for the people even said, his heart, I will often offer myself in their place. God said no you can't do that. But one day I'm going to send someone who will offer himself up place, not only of the sinful people in the Valley oath rebelled against my wallet against nations that I'm going to bring to Jesus right.

So instead of judgment you found grace in the very mountain which God was moving his God was also providing requirements for the building of the tabernacle and giving the instructions for the offering of the sacrifices and providing the elder and the priests and the ceremonies in which they by day, season by season and year by year, the people would remember that God was a God of grace who provides the innocent one died in the place of those were guilty and point forward to the coming of Jesus Christ.

They come in the Old Testament of the New Testament. Jesus Christ comes what happens there. Jesus Christ perfect son of God, the one who had no fault in him whatsoever. Absolute purity absolute honesty and absolute grace to the people treated graciously.

Not all time of the year came that we remember holy week where Jesus went up to Jerusalem for the last time his enemies conspired to have them arrested. They hold before Pilate, the leader start up the crowd.

The very crowded and witnessed the miracles and heard his gracious teaching and responded to less than a week before saying. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord hallelujah at same crowd was shouting at the crucifixion crucify amp crucify, we will not have this man to reign over us lots in collating priest in the world people are ready to do away with the holy son of God, no greater sin ever committed on the surface of this planet where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

Jesus said, even as they were crucifying him. Father forgive them for they know not what they do and it was that very death of the cross and that very city surrounded by those people's hearts were filled with hatred that accomplished the atonement brought about the salvation of the race. I think to Peter on that occasion, Peter would been with Jesus for three years starting from the lips of the most gracious perfect man who ever lived, Peter said, when Jesus was telling about the events of our coming all Lord I don't know about these others, they may deny you by Peter Wilde. I'll stand by you even if it's necessary for me to dial die for you, and yet the and I Jesus for litigation to get even with those in crossings.

I don't know how you do that in Hebrew, but I suppose you use the name of Jehovah swear by the name of Almighty God, that you don't know the very son of God.

That's what he was doing said, well, look, this guy is really blown it, but he can use anyone like that Jesus can accommodate going to say to Peter. Well Peter, you certainly discredited yourself when you do that you go do the best you can but I can't use you as my disciple anymore. You will never be an apostle of mine that is what we find we find it where sin increased, grace abounded all the men are because Jesus came.

Every commission that very one, so he asked the question Peter do you love me.

And when Peter said yes because he really did put that within his heart, Jesus said, feed my sheep. That's the job I give you the good Shepherd. I'm the good Shepherd. I want you to be a good Shepherd and asked him again you love me. Yes, Lord, you know, I do feed my sheep's, you know, I do feed my sheep see God in the person of the son was gracious to Peter and Paul present on this writing this text here Paul certainly experienced the grace of God, you know, he wrote to the Corinthians. I am the least of all the apostles and the not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God by the grace of God I am what I am in his grace to me was not without effect know I worked harder than all of them, and yet it wasn't a lie but it was the grace of God within the great persecutor of the church. Paul actually was killing Christians gives his testimony as a testimony to the grace of God the grace of God abounded in the or how about what he said to Timothy writing to him in his first letter. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man. That's Paul's description of himself. I was shown mercy I was doing it in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out to me abundantly. Here he uses a combination of the two words we find in Romans 20 use of the first word in any users who pair from his second word, and he combines them.

That's a term explaining how the grace of God, abounded to him along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Jesus Christ came in the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. That's the testimony of apostle Paul. I we turn those historical examples to you and asked that question have you experience the grace of God in that way. Today people generally speaking, are not very aware of sin.

So when we speak to general audiences.

Today we have to talk about sin doing a lot of order that we understand the problem and appreciate the solution but the one who does understand about sin, because God has worked in the hearts of many that they have that perhaps you look back on something in your life and you say that is so bad, that was so terrible I really don't think God can use me, at least, he certainly can't use me in a great way.

I don't know what the sin was might be a sexual sins of many of the sins in our time are that are culture glorifies that it's hard to escape its influence may be that your sin back on your utterly ashamed to think of what you did. You said how God possibly be merciful to a person like me ready of stealing from someone people do that you stole from your employer if embezzled money. People of done that you stole from your parents. Maybe you had a drug habit you stolen for people in order to feed your habit to be that you murdered somebody I've heard stories like that. I've never personally talk to anyone who is acknowledge that to me, but there have been such thing as something in your past like that you say to yourself, well, just no hope for me.

My sinful past. I even got to the point. On one occasion where I blaspheme God actually cursed God's grace is not withheld because of sin, no matter how much sin increases grace abounds and the message of the gospel is God is a gracious God what he wants to do is overwhelm, sin in your life by his grace, and so make you a trophy of his grace. Praise of the glory of Jesus Christ will only make a second point, and that is the grace is in proportion out in accordance to said let me explain what I mean I think are two errors here one is the error of people to suppose the gods looking down on mankind and he sees a great variety of people and here is someone who is a very great sinner. So God says will that person needs model on the grace to get saved so he purrs on an abundance of grace and that person is a person who's not quite so bad. God said, well, he certainly needs grace to be saving me that much grace because in the amount of grace.

He needs to be say or somebody maybe you put yourself in that category. Switching now from when I was saying. A moment ago. You say I'm pretty good I'm doing quite well by myself. I'm not 100% or but I need a little bit. So God says that's right so he gives you 5%. Grace was necessary to get you in the great misunderstanding. Grace is not proportioned out in that positive matter in accordance with your sin and God's grace gives 100% grace. So when we get to heaven were not going to be saying as we read if the other works really well.I hear in because of your grace but you know my case it only took 5% because I did the other 95% myself and look at this poor guy over here. He needed 30% of your grace to get in to be a case of that of all it's going to be 100% the grace of God utterly powerfully, completely from beginning to end. That's the one. There the second maybe is more common than its goes like this is that person who was once walking close to God and then he fell in the sum sin or she fell in the sum sin person believes as they were saved.

I had 100% of grace from God.

To start with but now since I fallen into sin.

They lost a little bit of great pigs and they lost a lot of and they wanted to sin again. It was a little bit more. So God is because of their sin becoming increasingly less gracious as their life goes on. Some people think that way. Listen, if you're thinking that way. Let me tell you that is not true regardless of what you have done. You do not become a second-class Christian or 1/3 class Christian that is forfeiting some of the grace of God. Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying by that God gives us license to sin on hate sin, and he hates sin and his people. And if you're sending God will do everything necessary to root out you don't find yourself making progress over sin and growing in the Christian life is not a Christian. In the first place. Don't delude yourself that way that's not what I'm talking about here.

The point I'm making is that God will never diminish his grace toward you because of some sin back. I can even say it this way, your sin will cause you to see how abundantly grace of God really is will be able to say all that yes sinner, that's exactly what I am on when I think back on the sin I think back on it with shame, but that is not the only thing I think of is that I think back on the sin and shame. I'm also reminded of the grace of God was in proportioned out to me accordance with my sin, either positively or negatively 100% grace and it was grace from the beginning to the end that is a good thing. I want you to see about race in this passage, and that is a grace is also powerful and triumphant. That's where the verse goes because having talked about grace increasing all the more super abounding blog is on the say yes and it is destined to reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Now Paul is using an illustration that versus the illustration of two rival kingdom and he's personifying grace on the one hand and sin. On the other, making them the rulers of those two kingdoms. It goes like this one king is a tyrant. He's invaded our world and has enforced a ruthless control over men and women, perhaps over you and this king's rule is death process for all persons in this king's name is sin and is another king. He's a gracious ruler. He came to save us from sin and to bring us into a realm of eternal happiness the end of this king's rule is eternal life in his name is grace tells us something important about grace.

It tells us a grace is a power that's not the way we usually think of grace we usually think of grace is an attitude we define it that way. We say what is grace grace is God's unmerited favor favor to the undeserving. And that's absolutely true. That's a good definition of grace raises and only that grace is a power has invasive force part of God and his grace is sufficient merely to expose sin, but to overcome it to the praise of his glory every bit as real as any military invasion and the results of that are far more lasting now when you're talking about earthly kingdom you talk about the kingdom having the beginning could come about in a variety of ways.

It could come via military conquest, one great Emperor overthrows another establishes a commitment to come about by revolution is in the American Revolution that established the United States of America out of the British colonies come about in a variety of ways. Maybe the succession of rulers. For one, it was incompetent. The one who is really very competent and establishes a great kingdom or an empire out the kingdom of grace also had a beginning and you ask a question, where did the kingdom of grace, begin the answer is before the foundation of the world, theologians talk about it. They talk about it as a covenant of grace in the covenant of grace.

When you first think of it, though it has repercussions for us was essentially a covenant within the Godhead goes something like this, God the father said within the Fellowship of the Godhead in eternity past night he wanted to demonstrate the nature and the power of my grace before the host of heaven and this is the way I want to do it.

I'm going to create a world full of preachers to be known as men and women going to allow them to follow the sin, I'm going to allow sin to reign over them, enslaving them by its power and leading them at last to physical and spiritual death that is done when sin has done everything it can and directed his banner over the fallen human race. I'm going to send a heavenly being of infinite grace and infinite power to be their Savior. So praise is going to come to me because of my great grace was going to go for us do that. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke up said here on my send me the way it's referred to in Hebrews. I'll do what needs to be done. I'll take the form of one of these creatures become man as well as gone out die for mama bear the punishment of their transgressions. And then when I have paid the penalty for their sin. So they'll never have to suffer for themselves.

I'm going to rise again in power and in that power of the resurrection. I'm going to guide them and bless their lives so they might increasingly triumph over sin personally as they look for me the Holy Spirit that I want to be part of that covenant as well and if God the site is going to do that. I covenant with God the father, God the son to be active in the world leading superhuman women blind in their own spiritual depravity actually to see the value of what you've done and to come to personal faith in Jesus Christ to save God the father said and done covenant of grace was the beginning of the kingdom.

However, kingdom also has a period of growth as it comes in the being of that's true of the kingdom of grace as well.

Began with the announcement of the kingdom. Where was that it was in the garden of Eden very beginning of the human race. When Adam and Eve follow not very many days in their lives. As I understand, Genesis, or God said I'm going to send my son the deliverer to destroy the work of Satan is a prophecy Jesus Christ and the atonement was a preparation for the kingdom. That's what the Old Testament history is all about is God began to form a race of those who were living in expectation of the king you should come in so you have Seth son of Adam and Eve, the first of the godly line before the great flood of a whole list of people descended from him, all of whom were looking forward of the Redeemer got Enoch in their walk with God is praised in the New Testament, as well as the olden of Nola found grace in the eyes of the Lord with his family was preserved at the time of the flood, those were preparation for the kingdom later on.

You have Abraham, God calls him in Abraham's son and his son. 12 patriarchs eventually and you have the godly kings, people like David have the godly prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah feel the minor prophets in before the coming of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. There were people like Anna Zachariah Elizabeth, Mary, sufficient, they were all looking forward to the one it should come at a preparation for the kingdom. Many of the launching of the kingdom of Jesus himself actually came died upon the cross made atonement for sin.

It's a way of saying this is a righteous kingdom and adjust one to just that mission of God say well I want to be gracious of these people will forget about their sin. God sent Jesus Christ to die for sin in order that is justice might be accomplished, as well as his grace we display so righteousness and mercy come together at the cross of Jesus Christ. That's why when we talk about Christianity.

We point again and again to the cross. You will never understand Christianity apart from the cross of Jesus Christ is where God himself in the person of his son made atonement for sentence of the kingdom was launched and was launched in power they have to gathering the people into that kingdom and that's what's going on the day you say how is that done well.

People in theology talk about the orders saluted us. It means the order of salvation and describes how the Holy Spirit brings people the faith in Jesus Christ and what he does with them. It begins in the foreknowledge of the predestination of God progresses through effectual calling gospel is preached from the Holy Spirit carries that not merely to the mind but in the heart of men and women in the bond and saving faith justified progresses through sanctification.

The glorification of things that the apostle Paul talks about in Romans there is no more glorious unfolding of the kingdom of grace can possibly be imagined because grace is not only an attitude is a power the effects of the grace of God in our fallen world are sure now when we began the series a good while ago I mentioned John Newton was the author of the hymn amazing Grace, but intelligent story that I was waiting till now because all the stories I know salvation. This is probably the greatest illustration of the power of grace to change and transform a life. John Newton lived from 1725 1807, was born into a Christian home with his father died when he was very young and his mother also died when he was only six years old, Bible verses, but he was just a child. It was sent away the age of six to live with a relative. It was not a Christian home as a matter fact it was a cruel one time he did the only thing a boy could do in those days, he ran away to see became semen for time served in the British Navy body was certainly a depraved young man. He got into trouble with the Navy. They beat him on more than one occasion run away and I caught them and brought them back and finally he was discharged from the Navy and then he became a merchant seaman and he signed up for the slave trade went down the coast of Africa. I got the slaves and then they sailed across the South Atlantic.

They deposited the slaves in the New World exchange them for wrongly went back up the coast of England and Scotland. There they sold it so they completed the three-point journey and then they started down the coast again. That's what got into why did he do it that he do it for money, not by his description. Newton said there's only one reason I ran away to Africa and that was so that I might sin my fellow he meant sexual sin with the African women I went ashore in Africa for a time he lived with a slave trader slave trader headed up the recruitment of slaves from the interior and they would collect them at this compound that is the ships came by, they would sell them for profit, and so on. Any work with the slave trader slave trader often went away on sleeving expeditions and when he did that he sometimes would leave the time now slave trader had an African wife who hated white man and so when the slave trader was the powerful figure in the encampment on the way she became the dominant power and she took out her hatred against Newton.

He got very sick on one occasion she wouldn't feed him.

She saw that he couldn't get anything on. Finally, she'd send somebody around the food, but they wouldn't give it to them they throw it on the floor in the dust. He had to get down on his hands and knees eat it with his mouth retouched if they beat him actually put them in chains slave.

On one occasion is why later. He described himself as a slave of slaves.

He had that put on on his tombstone later slave of slaves with a trophy of God's grace only managed to get away from that eventually made his way to the coast lit a fire and attracted the seaman was coming by the ship, stopping to come on board man thought a course that he and ivory to sell and that's why they stop otherwise they wouldn't bother, but they weren't too disappointed because he had been trained as a navigator in the British Navy and Z orders a guy can use as a navigator but even then he got into trouble was addicted to drink as well as to a sexual sin, and he broke into the ship supply of Ramen one occasion when the captain was so short all the crew drunk got so drunk he fell overboard and drowned except one of the sailors managed to pull them back just in the time that's what he was like well story goes on. He describes the return voyage from the New World across the North Atlantic storm season. How he got into a tremendous storm just nearly destroyed. The vessel broke off the mast was tearing would loose from the sides that bears on the sides of the ship began to spring leaks and they did everything they could to patch up the ship to keep it from sinking. They would rip up bunks and other wooden objects within the Chippendale them over the sides of the ship from the inside and stop it with her clothing to try and keep the water out. Even then, they couldn't stop it. Finally, the captain said Newton and some others down to the very bottom of the ship with the pumps that they work by Hampshire try to get the water out south from sinking until the storm would abate somewhat and they be say and Newton was scared to death that he was down on the bottom of the ship of the ship, but that he would certainly go down with the down there in the belly of the ship God brought back to his mind. Some of the Bible verses that he been taught by his mother when he was less than six years old and he remembered and he began to meditate upon them. And God took those Bible verses and push the men upon his mind and consciousness, and he began to realize as he had never realized or even about people that Jesus was indeed the Savior of sinners like in the deep part of that ship he called out to God for mercy and he found say ship didn't sink it eventually made Scotland soon as he could. He went ashore eventually became a preacher great when he preached in all me England eventually in London, even brief before the Queen.

On one occasion at a friend name William Cooper poet Cooper wrote of that great storm. On one occasion God moves in mysterious ways wonders to perform. He plants his footsteps in the city and rides upon the storm so he does because where sin increased, grace abounded all the more sin increased in your life about your past, your present consent to yourself. There is such sin in my life that there is no chance in the world that will never be overcome is a good insight because you're beginning to learn that you will never overcome what you can't do. God not only can do, but has gotten many many times the lives of countless thousands that are like John Bunyan and John Newton where sin increased in your life. Grace of God will abound. Newton became a great preacher of grace because he had found that God was gracious even to the chief of sinners, so is prayer father, we thank you for the many evidences of the grace of God that we see about us in this world and in history about all we want to see evidences of that grace in the lives of those about us today and in our own lives as well. We ask because grace is powerful and you're the gracious God, that you will work that way. Our time among us so bring many of the knowledge of Christ as Savior, saving them from their sin not only from its penalty from its power, do so to the praise of the glory of your great grace for Jesus sake you are listening to Bible study hours 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.

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