Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Romans Bible Study: A Righteous God and A Savior Pt 1: Romans 9.14-18

Summary:  Paul continues to present the righteous character of God as it is revealed through His sovereign choices.  Being the self-existent Creator, He is sovereign and can do with His creation as He wishes.  His heart of compassion and mercy is reflected through His choices of sinful man.

1. A. On what basis did God choose Isaac over Ishmael (Rom. 9:6-9)?  Jacob over Esau (Rom. 9:10-13)?  Gen. 17:19-21; 21:12

B. How have we seen God’s sovereignty so far in Romans regarding election and God’s plan?  Romans 1:6; 8:28, 30, 33

C. What difference does it make that God sovereignly chose you to show His mercy and grace to?

2. A. What question does Paul raise in Romans 9:14?  What is his response?

B. Why do you think this issue of God is being raised at this point?  What does the question reflect about the true condition of man’s heart?  Jer. 17:9, Mark 7:20-23, Eph. 4:22

C. Are there areas you are tempted to think that God is not just in His dealings?  If God is truly sovereign, why would a Christian think otherwise?

3. A. Paul refers to what quality of God in verse 15?  Is God obligated to show these qualities to sinful man?  Why or why not?  Romans 3:10-17, 23

B. In light of the account in Exodus 32, what is God’s initial response?  (Exodus 32:10)  Moses’ response?  (Exodus 32:30)  What is the outcome of this account?  (Exodus 33:12-17, 34:1, 27, 28, 32)  What do we learn of God’s character?  (Exodus 33:18, 19)

C. What should you and I do in response to God’s mercy and grace?  Eph. 2:4-10, 1 Thess. 5:16-18, Heb. 13:15, 2 Peter 3:17-18

4. A.  According to Romans 9:16, God’s sovereign choice is NOT dependent upon what?  It IS dependent upon what?

B. What assumptions are made here concerning man?  About God?  Identify earlier passages in Romans that speak to these assumptions.

C. Why is God’s sovereignty important in your life in times of testing?  James 1:2-4, 12

5. Jesus Christ demonstrated compassion during His earthly ministry.  Examine the following accounts and answer the questions: Matt. 9:35-38, 14:13-24, 15:32-39, Mark 1:40-42, 6:30-34, Luke 7:11-17

a.  Why did Jesus show compassion?
b.  Who was His compassion for?
c.  What did He do out of compassion?
d.  How does this account relate to you and me?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

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February 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romans Bible Study: God’s Word Has Not Failed: Romans 9:1-13

1. A. How does Paul describe his heart in Romans 9:1-3?

B. Explain how the sorrow and grief of Paul can be characterized as Christ-like. What did he actually do about it? John 15:13, Acts 17:1-3, 19:8-10, 24:16, Rom. 16:19, 2 Cor. 1:6-8

C. A heart for the lost is the heart of God. What about you? What things do you allow to interfere with having a burden for the lost? How are you preparing yourself to be a witness for others? 1 Chr. 16:10-11, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 John 2:15-16

2. A. What were the Jewish privileges mentioned by Paul in Romans 9:4-5?

B. Explain what these had to do with eternal life. Romans 9:30-10:4

C. What are you trusting in for your salvation? Family or lineage? Church or religion? Your own works or merit? How about Jesus Christ? John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18

3. A. How is Jesus identified in Romans 9:5, as a man or as God?

B. Explain how we know Jesus Christ as both God and man. Luke 2:41-52, John 1:1, 14, 8:53-59, Phil. 2:10-11, Heb. 1:1-4

C. Your perception of Christ will determine the way you respond to Him. Do you follow Him as your rightful Master? John 10:27-30, Romans 8:14

4. A. Does unbelief affect the word of God according to Romans 9:6-8?

B. How do we know that God’s word never fails? Num. 23:19, Ps.119:89-90, Matt. 24:35, 2 Tim. 3:16

C. Do you really believe God? Do your priorities and decisions each day reflect this? How so?

5. A. What activities of God do you observe in Romans 9:8-13?

B. Explain the “children of promise” and what God’s choice has to do with it. Deut. 7:6-9, Rom. 9:11, Eph. 1:4, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 2:13-14

C. Do you respect the sovereignty of God? Either way, what does this tell you about your own heart? Prov. 15:33, Jer. 17:9, Rom. 9:20

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God’s Word Has Not Failed: Romans 9:1-13

Summary: The book of Romans is about the righteousness of God as fulfilled through the Lord Jesus Christ. God is not only fair, He is refreshingly merciful to both gentiles as well as the Israelites. In the sovereignty of His grace, God’s faithful word never fails. Here we see Paul’s case as to how this applies to the nation Israel.

1. A. How does Paul describe his heart in Romans 9:1-3?

B. Explain how the sorrow and grief of Paul can be characterized as Christ-like. What did he actually do about it? John 15:13, Acts 17:1-3, 19:8-10, 24:16, Rom. 16:19, 2 Cor. 1:6-8

C. A heart for the lost is the heart of God. What about you? What things do you allow to interfere with having a burden for the lost? How are you preparing yourself to be a witness for others? 1 Chr. 16:10-11, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 John 2:15-16

2. A. What were the Jewish privileges mentioned by Paul in Romans 9:4-5?

B. Explain what these had to do with eternal life. Romans 9:30-10:4

C. What are you trusting in for your salvation? Family or lineage? Church or religion? Your own works or merit? How about Jesus Christ? John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18

3. A. How is Jesus identified in Romans 9:5, as a man or as God?

B. Explain how we know Jesus Christ as both God and man. Luke 2:41-52, John 1:1, 14, 8:53-59, Phil. 2:10-11, Heb. 1:1-4

C. Your perception of Christ will determine the way you respond to Him. Do you follow Him as your rightful Master? John 10:27-30, Romans 8:14

4. A. Does unbelief affect the word of God according to Romans 9:6-8?

B. How do we know that God’s word never fails? Num. 23:19, Ps.119:89-90, Matt. 24:35, 2 Tim. 3:16

C. Do you really believe God? Do your priorities and decisions each day reflect this? How so?

5. A. What activities of God do you observe in Romans 9:8-13?

B. Explain the “children of promise” and what God’s choice has to do with it. Deut. 7:6-9, Rom. 9:11, Eph. 1:4, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 2:13-14

C. Do you respect the sovereignty of God? Either way, what does this tell you about your own heart? Prov. 15:33, Jer. 17:9, Rom. 9:20

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Church, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: Introductions to Romans 9-11: Romans 9:1-3

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Overview: Paul has established his case for the gospel as the power of God by the might of His grace: wicked, God-rejecting, helpless sinners are transformed. Believers are justified and established in God’s righteousness, so that we become obedient, Christ-honoring, Spirit-dependent overcomers of sin and trials. Now Paul turns a corner and applies the faithful and sovereign grace of God to Israel. By the sovereign powers of His mercy, He keeps His promises to save and establish the nation Israel.

1. A. Find a summary statement for Paul’s first main point in Romans 1:18-3:20.

B. How would you describe the extent of our fallen state? Romans 3:9-20

C. Are you prepared to answer this misconception: “How can a loving God ever send a nice person to hell?” Ecc. 7:20, Rom. 3:19-20, 2 Thess. 1:6-9, Isa. 33:14, Matt. 25:41

2. A. Find a summary statement for the good news in Rom. 3:21-8:39.

B. How would you describe the extent of our justification? Rom. 3:21-26, 4:25-5:2, 6:17-18, 8:1-4, 8:14-17, 8:28-39

C. Is your security in Christ strong? How would you identify a confident, vibrant faith in the Lord Jesus? John 15:10-11, Rom. 4:18-24

3. A. How are the Israelites described in Romans 10:2-3 and 10:21?

B. How would you explain God’s sovereignty, and the way He uses the fallen state of Israel? Rom. 9:10-16, 9:19-21, 11:1-4, 11:11-12, 11:28-36

C. Share some of the wrong things in your life that God has used for the better.

4. A. Identify the concerns that Paul had as stated in Romans 9:1-3.

B. Explain how the sorrow and grief of Paul can be characterized as Christ-like. John 15:13, 2 Cor. 1:6-8.

C. Solid and healthy, victorious Christians can and do suffer grief over lost souls. A heart for the lost is the heart of God. What about you? Do you share in the burden for the lost, and how does this show?

August 28, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bible Study on Romans: Inseparable Love: Romans 8:35-39

Summary: God’s great love for us never changes. The tribulations, hardships and troubles of life are evidences of our fallen world laden with sin, but they don’t change God. We can and do conquer these pressures not by escaping them, but by going through them.

1. A. What would you say the key phrases are in Romans 8:31-34?

B. What is the meaning that “God is for us?”
1. And that God “did not spare?”
2. And “who will bring a charge?”
3. And “God is the One who justifies?”
4. And “rather who was raised?”
5. And “Who also intercedes for us?”

C. Have you worried in your forgetfulness that God is for you? How so? Have you responded to His vast generosity and favor toward you? How?

2. A. What are the things that appear to separate us from God’s love in Romans 8:35?

B. How would you explain Paul’s level of experience to comment on such things? How would he know that no amount of trouble and pain can separate us from God’s love? John 15:9-13, 17:23-24, 2 Cor. 1:3-9, 11:23-29

C. How do you demonstrate your love for your friends? What is most important to you, your own will or the will of God? How does this show?

3. A. What is objectively true about God according to Jeremiah 31:3 and John 13:1?

B. What is subjectively true about us in response to God’s love? 2 Peter 3:18

C. Do you treat God as your giant gumball machine, happy with Him as long as things are going your way? Or have you put yourself at His disposal? Job 13:15, 1 Peter 1:3-8, 4:12-16

4. A. What is the extreme topic that Paul brings up in Romans 8:36?

B. What kind of death is this, and explain why it is not a problem for those who follow Jesus Christ. John 10:28, 1 Cor. 15:53-57

C. A common question, then, is are you willing to die for the Lord Jesus? A greater question than that is this: Are you willing to live for Him? How can you tell if this is the case? 1 John 2:3-6

5. A. In Romans 8:37-39, Paul is completely convinced of something. What is it?

B. It is clear from this text that we don’t conquer trials by escaping them, but by enduring through them. How is this shown here, as well as from these other verses? 2 Cor. 12:9-10, 1 John 4:4, 5:4

C. Suffering is not popular nor enjoyable. Can you maintain your confidence while going through it? 2 Tim. 1:12

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God is For Us! Pt. 3: Romans 8:33-34

Summary: Paul makes the case that God is for us forever. As the only rightful judge, Christ Himself declares us righteous. Since He, the very standard of righteousness makes us righteous, there is none to condemn us in God’s courtroom.

1. A. According to Romans 5:6-8 and Ephesians 2:1-3, how is our own adequacy described in approaching God? What kind of worthiness do you see?

B. Even though left to ourselves we were helpless, ungodly sinners and children of wrath, how did God respond to us? Rom. 3:23-26, 5:8-11, Eph. 2:4-7, 1 Peter 3:18

C. Since the Lord Jesus was condemned for our sins in our place in order to satisfy God’s justice, how should we respond? Rom. 3:27-30, Eph. 2:8-10, James 4:6-8

2. A. How are believers identified according to Romans 8:33?

B. Explain how being chosen of God protects us from the accusations of the devil, of unsaved enemies, and from our own doubts of unbelief. Is. 54:17, Zech. 3:1-4, Rom. 8:31-32, Rev. 12:10-11

C. Have you ever felt falsely accused? Are you ready to give up your unfounded fears and rely on God’s work on your behalf? Rom. 10:11, Eph. 6:10-18

3. A. Who does all the work regarding our salvation in Romans 8:33-34?

B. Since God does all the work in saving us, how would you explain the certainty or the finality of our salvation? Ps. 103:8-14, Is. 50:8-9, Rom. 3:26

C. So in whom are you trusting? Are you attempting to be self-reliant, which will cause you to waver, or are you dependant on the certainty of God’s work? Rom. 4:16-21

4. A. Specifically, what are the great works of Christ found in Rom. 8:34?

B. Most of us know why Christ died on the cross. But can you explain why He was raised from the dead? On what basis was Christ raised? Rom. 4:25, Rom. 6:5-12, 14:9, Heb. 10:10-14, 12:2

C. Are you a living example of a risen Christ? Do you consider yourself to be continuously dead to sin and alive to God, so that He runs your life? How so?

5. A. Please observe the last work of Christ that He continues to do in Rom. 8:34.

B. How does this relate to Christ as our Advocate and the permanence of His faithfulness towards us? Heb. 7:24-27, 9:24

C. Our holy and almighty Advocate continues to be for us, because He continues to intercede for us. Have you allowed Him to be your confidence in dealing with sin? 1 John 2:1-6

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God is For Us! Pt. 2: Romans 8:32

Summary: We have a vastly giving and generous God. Often we are deceived into thinking that God has short-changed us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The measure that God is for us is that He sacrificed His only Son, and “delivered Him up for us all.”

1. A. What are four things that God does for all Believers from Romans 8:30?

B. In what tense are these graces of sovereignty, and what is the significance? What does this tell you about God’s loving preparations He made for you? (Jer. 31:3, Rom. 9:23-24, 1 Pet. 2:9, Titus 3:4-7, Eph. 2: 4-7, Rom. 5:8-10, 2 Thess. 1:10-12).

C. Do you speak and act as one chosen of God? (Eph. 2:10, 1 Thess. 2:12)

2. A. How is God described in Romans 8:31?

B. How strong is the “if,” and how would you support this from the context?

C. Identify the “who’s” that may be against you. Knowing God is for you, how does that change your perspective?

3. A. How can we be certain that the Lord is for us from Romans 8:32?

B. Describe Paul’s argument of the greater to the lesser. Since God holds nothing back, not even His only Son, what does that mean for us? (Rom. 5:8, John 7:37-39, 1 John 4:10, 2 Pet. 1:3).

C. It has been said, “The measure that God is for us is that He gave us His Son.” How have you responded to this? Have you committed yourself to Him and are you turning away from your sins? (John 1:12, 1 John 1:5-9)

4. A. What does God withhold from His dear children according to Ps. 84:11 and James 1:17?

B. If God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly, then why do we as Christians sometimes feel deprived? (James 4:3-8)

C. Proverbs 4:23 says to, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Do you have any of these sins to deal with: Ingratitude/thankless heart? Unbelief? Selfishness? Pride? Self-will? Lust of the flesh? Materialism? Neglect of the Scriptures and prayer? (Is. 30:15, 1 Thess. 5:16-18, Ezra 7:10).

5. A. According to Psalm 34:9-10, who are those not in want of any good thing?

B. What is the importance of fearing the Lord and seeking the Lord? How do we have everything we need by forgetting about our needs and pursuing God? (Prov. 2:1-5, Ps. 111:5, Luke 12:27-36, Is. 33:6, Matt. 6:33).

C. What is the goal of you heart? Have you made yourself expendable for the Lord Jesus? (Gal. 2:20, Phil. 3:8-10, Heb. 12:1-5).

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

July 4, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God Is For Us!: Romans 8:31-32

Summary: Paul makes the case for Christian courage and fearlessness based on the fact that “God is for us.” We can know that God is for us because He causes all things to benefit us and He has predestined us to become like Jesus. God has called us and justified us, not even sparing His own Son but also giving us all things.

1. A. What is the certain destiny of all Believers according to Rom. 8:29?

B. In what fashion are we to be conformed to the image of Christ today? How about in the future? What are the characteristics of Christ that apply to us and what are those that are unique to Him alone? (2 Pet. 1:4-8; Mark 1:35; Matt. 4:1-11, 9:36, 15:32; Heb. 13:5; John 13:34-35, 14:10; Phil. 2:1-8; John 11:33-35; Luke 22:42).

C. Of these qualities of Christ above, which one or two do you feel led to work on this week? How will you do this and who will hold you accountable?

2. A. According to Rom. 8:31, who is the majority and who is the minority?

B. What does it mean that “God is for us” and what does this have to do with those natural fears that we sometimes have? (Gen. 15:1; Josh. 1:7-9, 10:42; Ps. 27:1-3, 56:4, 84:11-12, 118:6, Jer. 1:19; 1 John 4:4; 1 Sam. 14:6-14, 17:23-47).

C. Where do you have fears? At work, in ministry, at school, or at home? Are you willing to trust that God is for you in each of these areas?

3. A. How can we know for sure that the Lord if for us from Rom. 8:32? What about from the general context of this chapter?

B. How would you explain Paul’s argument in Rom. 8:32 of the greater to the lesser? If God holds nothing back, not even His only Son for us, will He hold anything else back? Why or why not? (Rom. 5:8, 8:28; John 3:16, 7:37-39, 1 John 4:10; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Cor. 9:8).

C. Are you content? Do you have a heart of thanksgiving or an attitude of gratitude? Since God is for you, what might you do to cultivate that victorious mindset the Lord intends for us to have? (Isa 30:15; I Thess. 5:16-18; Ezra 7:10).

D. Take time this week to read Isa. 53 and contemplate what took place at the cross. (From Jesus’ perspective and from the Father’s perspective)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

July 3, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God’s Unshakeable Purpose Pt 2: Romans 8:29-30

Summary: The purposes of God cannot be thwarted. It is with absolute certainty that we can know that His purposes will come to pass. His sovereign rule oversees everything from the “big picture” to the details, most specifically in His plan and purpose for salvation.

1. A. From these verses, what is God’s purpose for those who are called according to His purpose? For Himself?

B. What does it mean to be conformed to the image of Christ (v 29)? Also see I Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2

C. Conformity to Christ is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. How far along are you in the process? At what point are you? When will be process be complete? How do you know it will be?

2. A. What are the five links in the chain of God’s purpose in these verses?

B. What are God’s foreknowledge and predestination? What events are governed by God’s predetermined purposes (see Acts. 4:28; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5-11)? (see also: Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh 11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4; Isa 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37; 15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom. 9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; I Pet. 1:2)

C. If you know someone who things that God’s predestination means that He “just looks ahead into the future to see who will believe Him and be saved,” (or perhaps you think this is what it means) how does this new understanding (along with verses like Rom. 3:9-18, 23) help you see that that is not the case at all? In any case, how does it affect your view of God?

3. A. God calls outwardly through the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Rom. 9:24-25) and effectually through the enlightening and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit (John 6:44-45; 16:14). What are the differences? (See also I Cor. 1:9; Luke 14:23; Rom. 1:7; 11:29; I Cor. 1:23-26; Eph 1:18; Phil. 3:14; I Thess. 2:12; 2 Thess. 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 2 Pet. 1:10)

B. What does this mean to those who reject God’s call (John 3:14-19; Matt. 22:14)?

C. What part do you and can you plan in God’s outward call through the gospel? Can you share a particular situation with the group that might encourage others to do the same?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

June 27, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Study on Romans: God’s Unshakable Purpose: Romans 8:28-30

Summary: The book of Romans is the crowning gem of the Scriptures, and Romans 8:28 “is a soft pillow for a tired heart.” We have unimaginable wealth in Christ and are fellow-heirs with Him, but it doesn’t mean we will not suffer. Yet we have an unshakable foundation of hope based on God’s purposes.

1. A. Skeptics can’t believe God exists, agnostics say He can’t be known, diests say He has no further doings with people. Yet, what do we know about the God of Romans 8:28? Ps. 115:1-3, Ps.135:6, Dan. 4:35

B. What difference does it make that this kind of God is behind all things as mentioned in Rom. 8:28? Ps. 94:19, Ps. 139:23-24, Isa 35:4; Jer. 17:7-8, Phil. 4:6

C. What in your life might be causing you to forget these things about God? How can you cause yourself to remember it about Him?

2. A. What kind of things does God cause to work together for good? Rom. 8:18,26; 2 Kings 6:8-19; Dan 3:11-27; Eph. 1:11

B. If God can’t cause all things to work together for good, then what does that mean about the crucifixion of Christ, arguably the deed with the most infamously evil motives ever perpetrated by man?

C. What does it mean to you that God can save you from or save you through even tragedy? Can you give examples that might encourage another group member?

3. A. From man’s vantage point, who are those for whom God works things for good? From God’s vantage point?

B. What is the significance of God’s call in Rom. 8:28? For what purpose has He called us? Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22; Jude 24.

4. A. Identify at least 3 attributes of God that relate to the truths found in Rom. 8:28.

B. Can you find a biblical illustration of one of these attributes displayed?

C. How have you seen God display this attribute in your life?

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.

June 21, 2010 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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