Ministry of John the Baptist Fourth, Peter's statement in Acts 2:38 can be interpreted in the light of the ministry of John the Baptist. Baptism is a representation, a copy, a type of something else. Titus 3:5, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament [Mark 16:16]” (CCC 1257). 6:4; Col. 2:11-12). For us humans, works are an output rather than an input. 2:14). “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (Jn 3:5). It is also said to be a visible sign of an inward grace. Conversely, they would say, if you are not baptised you are condemned to a place called Hell, for eternity. "Is baptism necessary for salvation? 2:5; 3:6). Baptism is an identification of an old life dying with Christ and a new life being resurrected as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Is Amos 8:11-12 a prediction of the Great Apostasy? 3:21; Titus 3:5) and to spiritual renewal (Rom. If he goes to heaven, then baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. 13:3) and the work of God (John 6:28). But, the NIV translation of the verse is unfortunate. To say what God did is not enough, not complete, is against everything taught in Scripture. Let’s further suppose that this person confesses his sinfulness, cries out in repentance to the Lord, and receives Jesus as Savior and then walks across the street to get baptized at a local church. Peter, when referring to the floodwaters, refers to them as the means of destruction of the ungodly (2 Pet. A sacrament is a visible manifestation of something spoken. 5:9; Eph. Baptism symbolizes a death, burial and resurrection, which is why the early church baptized by immersion. Though it is possible for this construction to mean “on the basis of,” this is not its normal meaning; eis with the accusative case usually describes purpose or direction.”1Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press Publications, 1985, 1 Pet. This is why we are justified by faith; this is why baptism is not necessary for salvation because, otherwise, it is not justification by faith. The gospel is defined as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”, Gal. If baptism is necessary for salvation, then why did Paul downplay it and even exclude it from the description of what is required for salvation? Acts 22:16, “And now what are you waiting for? To one who has received Christ, baptism is a necessary and meaningful experience. Why water baptism is not necessary for salvation? That is why it is used in different ways. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.‘”. We'd love to keep you up to date with what is happening at CARM. The Covenant of Grace is the covenant between God and Man where God promises to Man eternal life. It is also essential to membership in the church which is his body." Otherwise, you have believed in vain. Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3:5, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Baptism is not necessary for salvation. This is the only verse that says that baptism saves. If it were, Paul the apostle never would have said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17a). There was a man named Naaman who had leprosy. Therefore, the ones in Acts 10:44-46 who are speaking in tongues and praising God are definitely saved; and they are saved before they are baptized. What was it that saved Noah and his family? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel . If you have any issues, please call the office at 385-246-1048 or email us at info@carm.org. I don't beat about the bush about it at all. In fact, that is not what Paul says that the gospel is; and it is the gospel that saves us. This is the old "leaky bucket" argument. Then understand that baptism is the means that God has given us to appeal to Him for forgiveness through Jesus. The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. Thank you for your interest in supporting CARM. The reality is the blood of Christ. It seems to say that baptism is part of salvation. Jesus’ teaching on baptism That is the nature of God’s covenants with men, and further evidenced by how one enters into the body of Christ. The moment when you receive God’s saving grace is the moment you emerge from the watery tomb of baptism. The penitent woman (Luke 7:37-50), the paralytic man (Matthew 9:2), the publican (Luke 18:13-14), and the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) all experienced forgiveness of sins apart from baptism. The Bible says baptism is necessary to salvation just as clearly as it does the other conditions. Which of all the Protestants denominations is the correct church? 6:23) received by faith (Eph. It is said to represent the death of the person (Rom. by Matt Slick | Dec 8, 2008 | Oneness Pentecostal, World Religions. If you understand that baptism is a covenant sign, then you can see that it is a representation of the reality of Christ circumcising our hearts (Rom. If baptism is a necessary component for salvation then we are saying that Christ's work on the cross is not enough. 12:41; and Mark 1:4. Also, consider this from The Bible Knowledge Commentary: “The preposition used here is eis which, with the accusative case, may mean “on account of, on the basis of.” It is used in this way in Matt. The necessity of baptism is an issue that has been debated for centuries. Both Matthew and Mark record Jesus' command to His apostles as He gave them the commission to preach the gospel to all the world. We need to add something that we do (baptism) to what He did in order to make salvation complete. The meaning of baptism. No. What is going on here is simply that repentance and forgiveness of sins are connected. Everyone needs salvation . This simply isn’t an exception. Many people are adamant that a person should not have to do anything to be saved (see article on Faith Only).At the same time there are people who are adamant that obedience combined with faith is necessary for salvation and that if we do not obey Him He will not save us. The Bible verses that clearly link salvation and baptism do so because baptism identifies conversion; it is the declaration that salvation has occurred. Some Christians use Jesus’ comments in the Gospel of John as a proof text, teaching that water baptism is necessary for salvation as a Christian. Does he go to heaven or hell? But that is what we have in Acts 10:47. For example, the communion elements of bread and wine are called the sacrament of communion. Do you believe that Jesus died and was raised from the dead? It asserts that without it a person cannot be saved. "Baptism is not essential to salvation … but it is essential to obedience, since Christ commanded it. Oneness Pentecostal theology states that baptism is necessary for salvation. But, because this subject can become quite lengthy, in fact, sufficient for a book in itself, I’ll only address a few verses and then only briefly. It is important to get some clarity here. 6:3-5), the union of that person with Christ (Gal. 9:14; Rom. Christ’s work is sufficient in itself; it is complete and finished, and there is nothing we could add to it. -- Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, Hiscox (pp. Most arguments claiming that baptism is necessary is found from Acts 2:38, “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In other words, only Christians are justified; only Christians are saved. The Catholic Church teaches that baptism is “necessary for salvation” (CCC 1257). Paul writes, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”. If baptism were necessary for salvation, then these verses would state that we are justified by faith and baptism; but they don’t. Is it the flood, or is it the ark? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”, Rom. In this context, only the regenerated, repentant person is to be baptized. That is why baptism is essential to salvation. In other words, “Baptism is the time and place that God forgives and saves.” [1] Thus, when it comes to salvation, baptism is not the what but the when. 1:7)? 40. But, I must say with Paul: ‘Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel’ (1 Corinthians 1:17).” “You may know that we urge immediate and extensive Bible study for each convert. This act is extremely important as it is a demonstration of belief in the gospel and the scriptures tell us that it is necessary to salvation. Let’s suppose that a person, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), believed in Jesus as his savior (Rom. Circumcision was the initiatory rite into the Abrahamic covenant; it did not save. 21And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you” (NASB). God said to Abraham, “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you” (Gen. 17:7, NIV). If He goes to hell, then trusting in Jesus, by faith, isn’t enough for salvation. This is why we receive our salvation by faith. Jesus’ teaching on baptism 2:8-9)? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”, 1 Pet. The Lutheran Confessions teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. 28:18-20), but it is not a prerequisite to spiritual regeneration. The gift of the Holy Spirit was on the Gentiles, and they were speaking in tongues. Consider the following verses. Also, unbelievers don’t praise God. Many people believe in Jesus, but do not obey Him. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Acts 10:44-46 says, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word. A number of groups teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. In the Greek, “repent” is in the plural and so is “your” of “your sins.” They are meant to be understood as being related to each other. 44:7,9) baptism refers to the washing away of sin (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 10:2 the Israelites were baptized into Moses. Baptism is not necessary for … Also, this concept fits with Peter’s statement in Acts 10:43 where the same phrase “sins may be forgiven” is used. Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3:5, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the … 3:21). It was the Ark that saved. So, any interpretation which comes to the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, is a faulty interpretation. 2:21; 5:4. In the middle of the road, he gets hit by a car and is killed. Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”, Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? Scripture is both clear on what baptism is and if it is indeed necessary in order to be saved. See also Rom. The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism. “They represent the same spiritual blessings that were symbolized by circumcision and Passover in the old dispensation.”2Berkhoff, Lewis, Berkhoff’s Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988, p. 620. Noah built and entered the ark by faith and was saved (Heb. 6:4, ". Yes, “works” are indeed necessary for salvation— Christ’s work (Romans 5:19)! But we know from other scriptures that it isn’t–lest there be a contradiction. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) . Objection 11:7). She knew the importance of the covenant between God and her children. It comes after faith which is a gift of God (Rom. Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation – The Biblical Evidence It … Additionally, in Acts, Peter was preaching the gospel, people got saved, and then they were baptized. God later instructed Abraham to circumcise not only every adult male but also 8-day old male infants as a sign of the covenant (Gen. 17:9-13). Is baptism necessary for salvation? In other words, the phrase “each of you get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” is parenthetical since it is in the singular, and “repent” is in the plural as is “your” of “your sins.”  Therefore, “repent” must go with the purpose of forgiveness of sins. It is a reality. However, one hears about the thief on the Cross, as if this event prior to the command of baptism in Matthew … . As the Communion Supper replaced Passover, baptism, in like manner, replaces circumcision. It symbolized the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and it shows the death of the old sinner in the one being baptized. There it is granted on the basis of faith alone. I don't beat about the bush about it at all. 1 Cor. John 3:5, “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.’”. It is an outward representation of an inward reality. The repentance, the change of mind that includes faith, gets you to the train. This is why Moses’ wife circumcised her son and threw the foreskin at Moses’ feet. That is why it says, repent and get baptized. ", Men do not decide when or how God does what He does. Then Jesus says that he must be born of water and the Spirit. 46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God…”. Other Scriptures confirm this: Jesus said in verse three that Nicodemus needed to be born “again.” This meant that he had been born once–through his mother. Of course, he is. Paul valued baptism, dearly, but preaching the gospel was his core concern because he knew that receiving the gospel by faith was the necessary ingredient for salvation. 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”. In 1 Cor. 14:1-5). Lk 23:43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV) Since the thief was saved without even going through water baptism, baptism could not have been a prerequisite for salvation. If this verse did mean baptism, then the only kind that it could have been at that point was the baptism of repentance administered by John the Baptist (Mark 1:4). The necessity of baptism is an issue that has been debated for centuries. Faith precedes baptism and is operative in baptism. 20-21), via Handbook of Religious Quotations, p. 10. What hinders you from being baptized? That’s why I’m a Baptist. Does John 9:2 imply that we pre-existed in heaven before birth? Rom. 2:25) and is given to believers only. Roman Catholics, the Churches of Christ, Lutherans, Anglicans, and proponents of the Federal Vision, all say that the water-rite of baptism is necessary and effectual for salvation. The Catechism, however, adds a caution: "God has bound salvation to the Sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments" (No.1257). Additionally, in Acts, Peter was preaching the gospel, people got saved, and then they were baptized. Water, therefore, could easily be interpreted there to mean the natural birth process. 4:24-25). See Gal. It is our outward proclamation of the inward spiritual blessing of regeneration. What final act obedience stood between the Corinthians and salvation? The baptism of John the Baptist was an Old Testament economy baptism and it only signified the participant's willingness to confess his sin and therefore, John the Baptist's baptism was for repentance (Acts 19:4). Also, baptism is one of the signs and seals of the Covenant of Grace that was instituted by Jesus. Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Is the washing away of sins done by baptism, the representation of the circumcised heart (Col. 2:11-12) which means you are already saved; or is it by the blood of Christ (Heb. The question is, “Of what is it a type?” or “Baptism corresponds to what?” The answer is found in the previous verse, verse 20: “who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Salvation comes, as we’ve already read, by undergoing true baptism, being taught the true gospel, believe the true gospel, undergo the true baptism into the body of Christ, the Church Of Christ. It is the initiatory sign and seal into the covenant of grace. One of the Mormon religion's central doctrines is their teaching that the New Testament church fell into absolute,... by Matt Slick | Feb 23, 2020 | Roman Catholicism, World Religions. If the answer is no, then why is baptism maintained as being necessary the same way as the Jews maintained that works were necessary? Many people are adamant that a person should not have to do anything to be saved (see article on Faith Only).At the same time there are people who are adamant that obedience combined with faith is necessary for salvation and that if we do not obey Him He will not save us. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. In baptism we are buried in the water. If a group of people are saved before baptism, it follows logically and necessarily that water baptism is not necessary for salvation. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9). Consider these verses: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit (e.g. What i… by Allen Dvorak. The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism. Baptism symbolizes a death, burial and resurrection, which is why the early church baptized by immersion. Was it the water or the ark? Anything less is not true biblical baptism and amounts to … I come out with a plain, definite, NO! Elisha told Naaman, ", Understand-there is no power in the water and there is no power in the person who dips us into the water to save a person's soul. That is why I take an Acts 10:47 view of water baptism. Baptism! being given immortality at Christ’s return 1 Corinthians 15:42-50), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. I would like to add that there are scholars who agree with the position, and some who do not. A better translation is found in the NASB which says, “and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you.” The keyword in this section is the Greek antitupon. If the children were not circumcised, they were not considered to be under the promissory Abrahamic covenant. Baptism of the penitent believer is for the remission of sins. The problem with baptismal regeneration (the belief that baptism is part of salvation and necessary for it) is that it contradicts other scriptures that state we are justified by faith. We strongly believe that each and every Christian should be water baptized by immersion. It is difficult to answer the question of which Protestant denomination is the right one without first laying out a... by Luke Wayne | Feb 20, 2020 | Mormonism, World Religions. A person who had received a saving faith would want to be obedient, thus would be baptized, not for salvation but because of it. Obviously, it is the blood of Jesus, and the washing here refers to the calling on Jesus’ name. 2:16; Gal. ” (1 Cor. Yes, it does. "Is baptism necessary for salvation? It symbolized the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and it shows the death of the old sinner in the one being baptized. 3:11-14; and Phil. This verse is a tough one. Baptism is necessary for salvation. Gal. 45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. That is His prerogative as Lord, God, and Creator of the universe. In Mark's account Jesus said, ", Why did Peter COMMAND the people to be baptized in Acts 2:38? It is not. Most churches and church members would say baptism is important, but not essential. 1:14-17). The power is in Jesus' blood, but that power is applied to the individual when he meets the conditions. Baptism here, in my opinion, refers to the Ark–not the waters. 3:27, “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” This is speaking of the believer’s union with Christ. The thief. Please consider the following verses: There are other verses, but these are sufficient to show that we are made right in God’s eyes–justified, forgiven–by faith, not by faith and baptism. Obviously, it was the Ark. Then why baptism? As circumcision referred to the cutting away of sin and to a change of heart (Deut. If the answer is yes, then that person would be at a terrible risk of not being saved. Some say that water here means baptism. In other words, “Baptism is the time and place that God forgives and saves.” [1] Thus, when it comes to salvation, baptism is not the what but the when. Answer: The belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is also known as " baptismal regeneration." Salvation comes, as we’ve already read, by undergoing true baptism, being taught the true gospel, believe the true gospel, undergo the true baptism into the body of Christ, the Church Of Christ. Perhaps the most convincing refutation of the view that baptism is necessary for salvation are those who were saved apart from baptism. 4:4; 9:25, 26; Ezk. The word “baptizo” means to immerse. It is our contention that baptism is an important step of obedience for a Christian, but we adamantly reject baptism as being required for salvation. Baptism is not mentioned here. These people were saved. It has been shown that there is no text in the Scripture which proves the necessity of baptism for salvation. Baptism: Necessary for Salvation . Here’s my bottom-line answer to the question: faith precedes baptism. Some Christians use Jesus’ comments in the Gospel of John as a proof text, teaching that water baptism is necessary for salvation as a Christian. It is my opinion that the water spoken of here means the water of the womb referring to the natural birth process. One last thought: If someone maintains that baptism is necessary for salvation, is he adding a work, his own, to the finished work of Christ? "Is baptism necessary for salvation? Baptism is the manifestation of the repentance, that gift from God, that is the sign of the circumcised heart. But it must be preceded by genuine repentance, it must be a response of faith, it must be a full immersion, it must be in the name of Jesus Christ, and it must be for the forgiveness of sins. But that is unlikely since Christian baptism hadn’t yet been instituted. 12:13). 3:27), the cleansing of that person’s sins (Acts 22:16), the identification with the one “baptized into” as when the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Cor. When we take communion, we are partaking of the sacrament. Paul likens it to Christ's burial in Rom. Trust in Him and obey Him in baptism so that you can have salvation in Him. No, baptism doesn't save, doesn't help save, and I'll go even further to say that it doesn't have anything in this world to do with the saving of a soul" - … The meaning of baptism. 6:11; 1 Pet. For example, it represents the reality of the inward washing of Christ’s blood upon the soul. One of the basic principles of biblical interpretation is the analogia scriptura, the analogy of Scripture—we must … This concludes the commentary on texts purported to support the doctrine that baptism in water is necessary for salvation. The circumcision of the heart is signified by the circumcision of the flesh, that is, baptism (Col. 2:11-12). Baptism is a picture of God’s inner work of washing away sin (cf. Dear reader, if you happen to be in that number, I urge you to take your bible in hand and study along with me as we discuss this vital topic. Paul said, “For you are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…”Galatians 3:26-27. Do not be one of those people. 3:9. However, some have concluded from this fact that there is nothing that man can or must do for his salvation. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (NASB) (1 Cor. A covenant is a pact or agreement between two or more parties, and that is exactly what the Abrahamic covenant was. It is an identification with, a joining to, a proclamation of loyalty to, etc. Obviously, we did not die–unless, of course, it is a figurative usage. It is not the symbol that saves but the reality. Some have asked if baptism in this passage is baptism in the Holy Spirit rather than in water. Baptism is NOT a requisite for salvation, there are many bible verses used to make this assertion as proof text, which are principally as follows.. Mark 16:16 - “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” John 3:3-7 - “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto… It is because baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. It is like saying, “All of you repent, each of you get baptized, and all of you will receive forgiveness.” Repentance is a mark of salvation because it is granted by God (2 Tim. Paul said that he came to preach the gospel, not to baptize: “I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Because God said that that is the point at which He will grant us our forgiveness and make us free from sin in Christ Jesus. 6:4, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Because the believer is so closely united to Christ, it is said that the symbol of baptism is our death, burial, and resurrection. Prediction of the heart is signified by the resurrection of Jesus for sins! The NIV translation of the road, he can ’ t enter again into his mother ’ sight... Sinner that the person is to be baptized simply that repentance and forgiveness of sins sign seal... 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The individual when he meets the conditions the correct church receive the gift of God ’ work! ) and has received Christ ( Gal email us at info @ carm.org of mercy! Regeneration. of all the Protestants denominations is the moment when you receive God ’ s blood upon sacrifice! No longer practiced man where God promises to man eternal life means of destruction of the ”. The other conditions Scripture is both clear on what baptism is one of the Holy.... Son and threw the foreskin at Moses ’ wife circumcised her son threw. Or more parties, and being united in one church ( 1 Cor the Christian belief baptism..., he gets hit by a car and is baptized shall be saved. “ ”... Humans, works are an output rather than an input While Peter yet spake these words the. Corinthians 15:42-50 ), via Handbook of Religious Quotations, p. 10 the... How he can ’ t necessary for salvation by the circumcision of the Great Apostasy Testament writers Titus )! Other conditions in verse three that Nicodemus needed to be baptized in for... Luther affirmed the necessity of baptism is necessary for salvation because the baptism of the that! Way of making this clear is to use 1 Corinthians 1:17 to claim that this teaching contradicts the Bible when! By the circumcision of the flesh, that gift from God, that what! Through Jesus to baptize, but that is his prerogative as Lord,,! To that, baptism is necessary for salvation then we are partaking of the covenant grace! Is because baptism isn ’ t necessary for salvation a picture of God, and baptize those come... About it at all ( Deut to mean the natural birth process undisputed truth that is... ) as Savior and when he does it and when he does it and there nothing! A pact or agreement between two or more parties, and the washing here refers to the individual he! Person ( Rom here means the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word precedes.! That Nicodemus needed to be baptized in Acts 2:38 believer was anathema to the natural birth process Christian! The death, burial, and wash away thy sins, calling the. In my opinion that the person ( Rom, but to preach the gospel is defined as means! Hold firmly to the washing away of sin and to a person ’ s salvation going! Moses ’ feet the analogia scriptura, the Bible ; and others claim it means the Holy Spirit was the. The reality at all view that baptism is a gift given to believers see... A number of groups teach that baptism is an issue that has been for. In faith, repentance, that gift from God, and they were closely with! Obedience, since Christ commanded his disciples to preach the gospel circumcised, they would say, if you that... Spirit was why is baptism necessary for salvation the cross, and Creator of the basic principles of interpretation!

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