The Resurrection - Christ in You and You in Christ
And he said to them, Do not be amazed and terrified;
you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified.
He has risen; He is not here…
of the living risen Christ!
It is the foundation of the Christian faith. It is the expectation of
eternal life. It is also the source of power you can experience in your own
life, every day. The same power that resurrected Jesus from death to life is
available to you for
healing, transformation, and empowerment, to walk in God’s supernatural power.
Oftentimes, we are presented
and focus only on the historical contents of the Bible and what Christ and
His disciples were able to do. Not realizing, however, the same life
empowering principles are given to us through the blood of Jesus in
relationship with the Father. Both are true and both are equally required to
execute and experience the whole message, that will become life changing,
powerful, and dynamic. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much
fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Jesus is our model for living…Jesus modeled who He
was in God and who we are in Him. Jesus came to show us who we are in His
image with His spiritual authority as, “sons and daughters of God.” “Because
as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). “… the person who
is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17)...
"...That they [believers in Jesus] all may be one, [just] as You, Father,
are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world
may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.
I have given to them the glory and honor which You
have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:
in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly
united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me
and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me" (John
The Mystery -
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages
and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom
God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and
teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect
in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his
working, which worketh in me mightily. - Colossians 1:26-29
The Bible teaches us that
the Resurrection is - The Foundation of Christianity
The apostle Paul wrote, “And
if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is in vain [it amounts
to nothing] and your faith is devoid of truth and is fruitless (without
effect, empty, imaginary, and unfounded)” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is mere delusion
[futile, fruitless], and you are still in your sins [under the control and
penalty of sin]; And further, those who
have died in [spiritual fellowship and union with] Christ have perished (are
If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all,
then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. But the fact is that Christ (the
Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of
those who have fallen asleep [in death]”
(1 Corinthians 15:17-20).
[even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly
for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of
their sonship]. For the creation (nature) was subjected to [frailty (to
futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault
on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it—[yet] with the hope
nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay
and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God’s
children. We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been
moaning together in the pains of labor until now.
only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits
of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan
inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and
the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God’s
sons)” (Romans 8:19–23).
The reality of being in Christ and Christ in you
is a revelation that will affect your thinking, your believing, your
actions, your speech and your ability to function as Christ did in His
ministry while on earth.
if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a
new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition]
has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!"
(2 Corinthians 5:17). Recall, we are spirit, mind and body. Your spirit-man
When you made Jesus your Lord, He
made you able to stand in the presence of the Father God as a king and a
priest, not as a beggar - but as the righteousness of God in Christ. In Him,
you are the
accepted. In Him, you are the beloved. You are His
chosen and His elect - a royal priesthood that has been bought with the
sacrifice of Jesus’ blood and made His sons and daughters.
For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ
[into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the
Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. - Galatians 3:27
And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit
down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by
virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). -
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own]
shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in
union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new
life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy
which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and
made partakers of Christ’s salvation). - Ephesians 2:5
We are called to “…put
on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in
carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in
strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts”
(Romans 13:12-14). – NASB
We are called to, “Put
on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against
all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against
flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the
unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil
spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every
piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the
time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand
your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s
righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace
that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In
addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery
arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as
your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” -
Christ in You
© by James A. Fowler. All rights reserved
Christianity is the
expression of the resurrection. Christianity IS resurrection. Someone might
say: "But Christianity is Christ!" That is true, but Jesus Christ said, "I
AM the Resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). Jesus Christ is the content,
the essence of resurrection-life. Jesus never said, "I AM the Cross", but He
did say, "I AM the resurrection". The resurrection is the expression of the
dynamic of all that Jesus IS. In fact, the resurrection is the reality of
all that Christianity IS. The vital understanding of everything that is
Christian is in the resurrection. Resurrection-life is the focal point of
all Christian teaching, the starting point from which everything must be
appraised, evaluated and interpreted. EVERYTHING! Everything prior in
time, time itself, and everything that follows chronologically, logically
and theologically can only correctly be understood in light of the
resurrection; all human history, all human thought.
If the resurrection of Jesus were just another
historical miracle, then Christianity is but a dead religion!
Creation is invested with meaning only when we look
back at it from the perspective of resurrection. Jesus Christ was active in
creation as Creator (John 1:3, Col. 1:16); as the indwelling presence of the
Divine character that was to be visibly expressed, i.e. imaged, in man
(Genesis 1:26, 27). The initial Genesis creation "set the stage" for the
"new creation" brought into being in Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:16). By the
resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the fulfillment of creation, the
re-creation of a new functional humanity (Ephesians 2:15), wherein the
"image" is restored so that the Divine character might be expressed in
righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
Jesus was "Emmanuel, meaning
God with us" (Matthew 1:23), and God intended to be with and in everyone who
would receive the resurrection dynamic of Christ by faith. The incarnation
becomes a prototype of deity functioning within humanity when viewed through
its universal fulfillment in the resurrection.
By the resurrection we come to appreciate the dynamic
that made the life of Jesus what it was. He lived by the Life of Another -
He let God be God in Him for every moment in time for thirty-three years. "I
do nothing of My own initiative," He said, "The Father abiding in Me does
His works" (John 14:10). Even His miracles were but what God did through Him
Thus He modeled the life of a man, normal humanity, a man who let God be God
in a man, man as God intended. By resurrection He makes that same dynamic of
life available to Christians.
The behavioral expression of the life of Jesus here on earth is only
encouraging to us today because of the resurrection. The life lived once in
Christ can be lived in us.
The crucifixion of Christ on the Cross of Calvary is
not an end in itself. It was but a remedial action, to remedy the problem of
the death consequences of man's sin. The problems of sin and death and
satan's dominion were remedied at the Cross. God then made His Life
available to mankind by the Resurrection. On the Cross, Jesus exclaimed, "It
is Finished!" (John 19:30); He saw ahead to the completed work of God in the
Resurrection. Whenever Paul refers to "the word of the cross" (I Corinthians
1:18; Galatians 6:14), and preaching "Christ crucified" (I Corinthians 2:2),
he always does so from the perspective of the "finished work" of the
REGENERATION: The Resurrection is the reality that invests
regeneration with meaning. Jesus was raised from the dead, life out of
death, in order that we might be "raised to newness of life" (Romans 6:4) in
Christ Jesus. Jesus IS the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) with which
(Whom) we are re-lifed spiritually in regeneration. (John 14:6 and Col.
3:4). Regeneration is not facilitated by the Cross, but rather by the
Resurrection. I Peter 1:3 - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a
living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Regeneration is a re-genesis, bringing man into being
again spiritually, rebreathing into man the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7).
Thus we become a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17), a "new man"
(Ephesians 4:24; Col. 3:10) with the image of God restored in man.
Regeneration is the resurrection-life of Jesus brought into being in the
JUSTIFICATION: "Justification" is a Biblical word that has been much
confused and misunderstood by Christians because it has been defined apart
from the Resurrection. The popular explanation is that God, the heavenly
Judge sits in His heavenly courtroom, and when a person believes in His Son,
Jesus Christ, the Judge bangs down His gavel, saying, "Declared righteous!"
Thus justification becomes a legal acquittal, a word of pardon, the
non-imputation of sin, "just-as-if-I'd" never sinned. But the declaration is
regarded as a legal fiction which is on the heavenly accounting books,
having no practical effect in terms of
behavioral righteousness in one's life today.
The Resurrection invests justification with practical
implications for Christian behavior today. The Risen One is the Righteous
One - Jesus Christ. Paul indicates in Romans 4:25 that Jesus "was raised for
our justification." The resurrection-life of Jesus that comes to dwell in us
when the Spirit of Christ is in our spirit (Romans 8:16), is righteous-life.
We are "made righteous" (Romans 5:19); we become the "righteousness of God
in Christ" (II Corinthians 5:21); Christ Jesus becomes to us righteousness
(I Corinthians 1:30). The righteous character of the Righteous God is
actualized in us by the resurrection-life of Jesus.
Justification requires the living content of
resurrection in order to be properly understood.
SALVATION: Salvation has been trivialized by its separation from the
Resurrection in contemporary evangelical theology. Salvation separated from
the Resurrection is conceived of as but a rescue from the results of sin or
a "fire insurance policy" from the effects of hell. Likewise, salvation
apart from the resurrection dynamic is regarded as but a commodity of
"eternal life" which one can "possess" by reason of one's attestation of the
historicity and doctrine of Jesus Christ; a spiritual benefit dispensed by a
benefactor. Salvation apart from resurrection is merely preventative or
Only when salvation is understood in the on-going
continuity of the resurrection-life of Jesus Christ, only then does
salvation remain connected with the work of the eternal Savior. Salvations
does “make safe” from the dysfunctional humanity enslaved to sin, but
Christians are saved unto the functional humanity of the Savior and Lord,
Jesus Christ living through us. We are "saved by His life" (Romans 5:10), as
the resurrection-life of Jesus, the "saving life of Christ" is operative in
The resurrection gives salvation a positive vitality,
which is far more than escapism.
GRACE: Because resurrection has been absent from evangelical
conceptions of grace, the grace of God has been relegated to merely
"redemptive grace" (God's Redemption at Christ's Expense) or the threshold
factor of "saving grace." When grace is thus interpreted as static event or
experience, it is then dispensed with for any practical purpose, and gives
way to law, legalism and the performance of self-effort. The Christian life
is regarded by many Christians as a life of performance, commitment and
The Grace-life of Christianity can only be understood
in the context of the Resurrection. The free-flow of God's activity is made
operative in Christian lives by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The
Christian life is the resurrection-grace-life. Paul says, "I am who I am by
the grace of God" (I Corinthians 15:10). The Christian life is all of grace
or it is not Christian life.
FAITH: Faith, apart from resurrection becomes but mental assent to a
belief system, or dogmatic assertions of the veracity of propositional truth
from the Book. Worse yet, faith may be regarded as superstitious
expectations which are no more than "faith in faith."
Biblical faith can only be understood and exercised in
the context of resurrection-grace. Faith is the response of reliance on the
resurrection dynamic of God in Christ. Faith is our receptivity to His
apart from resurrection, will inevitably be conceived in terms of externals.
It may be the externals of attire and possessions, avoiding what appears
"worldly" and utilizing the out-dated which appears more "spiritual."
Sanctification is sometimes regarded as the impossible ideal of a perfect
life to be lived by imitating the life of Jesus Christ. Sanctification is
most often conceived of as behavior governed by morality and ethics, the
codification of behavior into rules and regulations, techniques and
formulas, how-to’s; the legalistic conformity to which is regarded as
Sanctification can only be understood and experienced
by the resurrection-life of Jesus. It is the process of allowing the holy
character of God to be lived out in our behavior as the Risen Lord Jesus
lives out His life through us. It is the "life of Jesus manifested in our
mortal bodies" (II Corinthians 4:10). Sanctification is resurrection-living!
HOLY SPIRIT: Considerations
of the Holy Spirit apart from the Resurrection either "box" Him into a
theological box as "the third person of the Godhead," or set Him up as a
spiritual "stimulant", a power-force, that is available as a super-spiritual
experience, subsequent to receiving Jesus Christ in regeneration.
The Holy Spirit cannot be properly understood in the
life of the Christian apart from the resurrection.
The Holy Spirit is the
Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Risen Lord Jesus. Paul writes in II
Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is liberty." The Holy Spirit is present in the spirit of
every genuine Christian (Romans 8:16), to express the resurrection-life of
Jesus Christ in character and activity.
CHURCH: Apart from
the resurrection-dynamic of Jesus Christ, the Church becomes a mere
historical or theological society for further discussion of the same.
Sometimes it becomes a fellowship of like-minded believers, gathering for
subjective "worship" experiences. When the church becomes a social
organization or religious institution it binds people up in the absolutism,
authoritarianism and activism of religion.
Only on the basis of the Resurrection does the Church
become the collective Body of the life of the Risen Lord Jesus. The Church
is intended to be the collective expression and interactions of those
"called-out" to function in resurrection-life; Jesus Christ living in
resurrection community, the inaugurated kingdom of God, the fulfillment of
the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16; Romans 9:6)..
Christianity IS resurrection, the resurrection dynamic
and Life of Jesus Christ operative in everything. The Resurrection is not
just an historical or theological fact to be believed; He is a living Person
to be received by faith, moment by moment in every situation of our
existence. Jesus said, "I AM the Resurrection and the Life" (John 11:25),
and the implications of that are beyond the abilities of human
Christianity IS Resurrection, because Jesus IS
Resurrection and Life. Oh, that those who call themselves "Christians" today
might understand what it meant for Jesus to be raised from the dead on that
first Easter morning. It was Eternity intersecting into time with "eternal
life." It was God re-creating humanity and society. It was God interpreting
all of history. It was God in Christ bringing Life to a world dead in sin.
Christianity IS Resurrection. Have you received
resurrection? Are you enjoying resurrection?
AM the Vine, You Are the Branches
I am the true vine, and my Father is the
husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring
forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken
unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth
in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me
ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a
branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the
fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
- John 15:1-8
“I am the vine,
Ye are the branches” (John 15:5).
What a simple thing it is to be a branch— the branch of a tree, or the
branch of a vine! The branch grows out of the vine, or out of the tree, and
there it lives and in due time bears fruit. It has no responsibility except
just to receive from the root and stem sap and nourishment. And if we only
by the Holy Spirit knew our relationship to Jesus Christ, our work would be
changed into the brightest and most heavenly thing upon earth. Instead of
there ever being soul-weariness or exhaustion, our work would be like a new
experience, linking us to Jesus as nothing else can. For, alas! is it not
often true that our work comes between us and Jesus? What folly! The very
work He has to do in me, and I for Him, I take up in such a way that it
separates me from Christ. Many a laborer in the vineyard has complained that
he has too much work, and no time for close communion with Jesus, and that
his usual work weakens his inclination for prayer, and that his too much
intercourse with men darkens the spiritual life. Sad thought, that the
bearing of fruit should separate the branch from the vine! That must be
because we have looked upon our work as something else than the branch
bearing fruit. May God deliver us from every false thought about the
Now, just a few thoughts about this blessed
In the first place it is a life of absolute dependence.
The branch has nothing: it just depends upon the vine for everything. That
word, absolute dependence, is one of the most solemn and large and precious
of words. A great German theologian wrote two large volumes some years ago,
to show that the whole of Calvin’s theology is summed up in that one
principle of absolute dependence upon God; and he was right. If you can
learn every moment of the day to depend upon God, everything will come
right. You will get the higher life if you depend absolutely upon God.
Must I understand that when I have got to work, when I
have to preach a sermon, or address a Bible class, or go out and visit the
poor neglected ones, that all the responsibility of the work is on Christ?
That is exactly what Christ wants you to understand.
Christ desires that in all your work the very foundation should be the
simple, blessed consciousness: Christ must care for all.
And how does He fulfill the trust of that dependence?
He does it by sending down the Holy Spirit—not now and then only as a
special gift, for remember the relation between the vine and the branches is
such that hourly, daily, unceasingly, there is the living connection
maintained. The sap does not flow for a time, and then stop, and then flow
again, but from moment to moment the sap flows from the vine to the
branches. And just so, my Lord Jesus wants me to take that blessed position
as a worker, and, morning by morning and day by day and hour by hour and
step by step, in every work I have to go out to, just to abide before Him in
the simple, utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing, and
can do nothing.
Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power
in work. The branch has nothing but what it gets from the vine, and you and
I can have nothing but what we get from Jesus.
But secondly, the life of the branch is not only a life
of entire dependence, but of deep restfulness. Oh, that little branch, if it
could think, and if it could feel, and if it could speak—and if we could
have a little branch today to talk to us, and if we would say: “Come, branch
of the vine, tell me, I want to learn from thee how I can be a true branch
of the living Vine,” what would it answer? The little branch would whisper:
“Man, I hear that you are wise, and I know that you can do a great many
wonderful things. I know you have much strength and wisdom given to you, but
I have one lesson for you. With all your hurry and effort in Christ’s work
you never prosper. The first thing you need is to come and rest in your Lord
Jesus. That is what I do. Since I grew out of that vine I have spent years
and years, and all I have done is just to rest in the vine. When the time of
spring came I had no anxious thought nor care. The vine began to pour its’
sap into me, and to give the bud and leaf. And when the time of summer came
I had no care, and in the great heat I trusted the vine to bring moisture to
keep me fresh. And in the time of harvest, when the owner came to pluck the
grapes, I had no care. If there was anything in the grapes not good, the
owner never blamed the branch; the blame was always on the vine. And if you
would be a true branch of Christ, the living Vine, just rest on Him. Let
Christ bear the responsibility.”
You say: “Won’t that make me slothful?” I tell you it
will not. No one who learns to rest upon the living Christ can become
slothful, for the closer your contact with Christ the more of the Spirit of
His zeal and love will be borne in upon you. But, oh! begin to work in the
midst of your entire dependence by adding to it deep restfulness. A man
sometimes tries and tries to be dependent upon Christ, but he worries
himself about this absolute dependence: he tries and he cannot get it. But
let him sink down into entire restfulness every day.
Rest in Christ, who
can give wisdom and strength, and you do not know how that restfulness will
often prove to be the very best part of your message. You plead with people
and you argue, and they get the idea: There is a man arguing and striving
with me. They only feel: Here are two men dealing with each other. But if
you will let the deep rest of God come over you, the rest in Christ Jesus,
the peace and rest and holiness of heaven, that restfulness will bring a
blessing to the heart, even more than the words you speak.
But a third thought. The branch teaches a lesson of
much fruitfulness. You know the Lord Jesus repeated that word “fruit” often
in that parable; He spoke first of fruit, and then of more fruit, and then
of much fruit. Yes, you are ordained not only to bear fruit, but to bear
much fruit. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” In the
first place, Christ said: “I am the Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman
who has charge of Me and you.” He who will watch over the connection between
Christ and the branches is God; and it is in the power of God, through
Christ, that we are to bear fruit.
O Christians! you know this world is perishing for the
lack of workers. And it needs not only more workers. The workers are saying,
some more earnestly than others, “We need not only more workers, but we need
that our workers should have a new power, a different life—that the workers
should be able to bring more blessing.”
What is wanting? There is wanting the close connection
between the worker and the heavenly Vine. Christ, the heavenly Vine, has
blessings that He could pour on tens of thousands who are perishing. Christ,
the, heavenly Vine, has power to provide the heavenly grapes. But “ye are
the branches,” and you cannot bear heavenly fruit unless you are in close
connection with Jesus Christ.
Do not confound work and fruit. There may be a good
deal of work for Christ that is not the fruit of the heavenly Vine. Do not
seek for work only. Oh! study this question of fruit-bearing. It means the
very life and the very power and the very Spirit and the very love within
the heart of the Son of God—it means the heavenly Vine Himself coming into
your heart and mine.
Stand in close connection with the heavenly Vine and
say: “Lord Jesus, nothing less than the sap that flows through Thyself,
nothing less than the Spirit of Thy divine life is what we ask. Lord Jesus,
I pray Thee let Thy Spirit flow through me in all my work for Thee.” I tell
you again that the sap of the heavenly Vine is nothing but the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is nothing but the life of the heavenly Vine, and what you
must get from Christ is nothing less than a strong inflow of the Holy
Spirit. You need it exceedingly, and you want nothing more than that.
Remember that. Do not expect Christ to give a bit of strength here, and a
bit of blessing yonder, and a bit of help over there. As the vine does its
work in giving its own peculiar sap to the branch, so expect Christ to give
His own Holy Spirit into your heart, and then you will bear much fruit. And
if you have only begun to bear fruit, and are listening to the word of
Christ in the parable, “more fruit,” “much fruit,” remember that in order
that you should bear more fruit you just require more of Jesus in your life
A fourth thought. The life of the branch is a life of
close communion. Let us again ask: What has the branch to do? You know that
precious, inexhaustible word that Christ used: Abide. Your life is to be an
abiding life. And how is the abiding to be? It is to be just like the branch
in the vine, abiding every minute of the day. There are the branches, in
close communion, in unbroken communion, with the vine, from January to
December. And cannot I live every day—it is to me an almost terrible thing
that we should ask the question— cannot I live in abiding communion with the
heavenly Vine? You say, “But I am so much occupied with other things.” You
may have ten hours’ hard work daily, during which your brain has to be
occupied with temporal things; God orders it so. But the abiding work is the
work of the heart, not of the brain, the work of the heart clinging to and
resting in Jesus, a work in which the Holy Spirit links us to Christ Jesus.
Oh, do believe that deeper down than the brain, deep down in the inner life,
you can abide in Christ, so that every moment you are free the consciousness
will come: Blessed Jesus, I am still in Thee. If you will learn for a time
to put aside other work and to get into this abiding contact with the
heavenly Vine, you will find that fruit will come.
What is the application to our life with regard to this
abiding communion? What does it mean? It means close fellowship with Christ
in secret prayer. I am sure there are Christians who do long for the higher
life, and who sometimes have got a great blessing, and have at times found a
great inflow of heavenly joy and a great outflow of heavenly gladness; and
yet after a time it has passed away. They have not understood that close,
personal, actual communion with Christ is an absolute necessity for daily
life. Take time to be alone with Christ. Nothing in heaven or earth can free
you from the necessity for that, if you are to be happy and holy Christians.
Oh, how many Christians look upon it as a burden, and a
tax, and a duty, and a difficulty to get much alone with God! That is the
great hindrance to our Christian life everywhere. We need more quiet
fellowship with God, and I tell you in the name of the heavenly Vine that
you cannot be healthy branches, branches into which the heavenly sap can
flow, unless you take plenty of time for communion with God. If you are not
willing to sacrifice time to get alone with Him, and give Him time every day
to work in you, and to keep up the link of connection between you and
Himself, He cannot give you that blessing of His unbroken fellowship. Jesus
Christ asks you to live in close communion with Him. Let every heart say: “0
Christ, it is this I long for, it is this I choose.” And He will gladly give
it to you.
And then my last thought. The life of the branch is a
life of entire surrender. This word, entire surrender, is a great and solemn
word, and I believe we do not understand its meaning. But yet the little
branch preaches it. “Have you anything to do, little branch, beside bearing
grapes?” “No, nothing.” “Are you fit for nothing?” “Fit for nothing! The
Bible says that a bit of vine cannot even be used as a pen; it is fit for
nothing but to be burned.” “And now, what do you understand, little branch,
about your relation to the vine?” “My relation is just this: I am utterly
given up to the vine, and the vine can give me as much or as little sap as
it chooses. Here I am at its disposal, and the vine can do with me what it
Oh, we need this entire surrender to the Lord Jesus
Christ. This is one of the most difficult points to make clear, and one of
the most important and needful points to explain—what this entire surrender
is. It is an easy thing for a man or a number of men to offer themselves up
to God for entire consecration, and to say, “Lord, it is my desire to give
up myself entirely to Thee.” That is of great value and often brings very
rich blessing. But the one question I ought to study quietly is: What is
meant by entire surrender? It means that just as literally as Christ was
given up entirely to God, I am given up entirely to Christ. Is that too
strong? Some of you think so. Some think that never can be; that just as
entirely and absolutely as Christ gave up His life to do nothing but seek
the Father’s pleasure, and depend on the Father absolutely and entirely, I
am to do nothing but to seek the pleasure of Christ. But that is actually
true. Christ Jesus came to breathe His own Spirit into us, to make us find
our very highest happiness in living entirely for God, just as He did. 0
beloved brethren, if that is the case, then I ought to say: “Yes, as true as
it is of that little branch of the vine, so true, by God’s grace, I would
have it be of me. I would live day by day that Christ may be able to do with
me what He will.”
Ah! here comes the terrible mistake that lies at the
bottom of so much of our own religion. A man thinks: “I have my business and
family duties, and my relations as a citizen, and all this I cannot change.
And now alongside of all this I am to take in religion and the service of
God as something that will keep me from sin. God help me to perform my
duties properly!” That is not right. When Christ came, He came and bought
the sinner with His blood. If there was a slave market here and I were to
buy a slave, I should take that slave away to my own house from his old
surroundings, and he would live at my house as my personal property, and I
could order him about all the day. And if he were a faithful slave he would
live as having no will and no interests of his own, his one care being to
promote the well-being and honor of his master. And in like manner I, who
have been bought with the blood of Christ, have been bought to live every
day with the one thought—How can I please my Master?
Oh, we find the Christian life so difficult because we
seek for God’s blessing while we live in our own will. We would be glad to
live the Christian life according to our own liking. We make our own plans
and choose our own work, and then we ask the Lord Jesus to come in and take
care that sin shall not conquer us too much, and that we shall not go too
far wrong; we ask Him to come in and give us so much of His blessing. But
our relation to Jesus ought to be such that we are entirely at His disposal,
and every day come to Him humbly and straightforwardly, and say: “Lord, is
there anything in me that is not according to Thy will, that has not been
ordered by Thee, or that is not entirely given up to Thee?” Oh, if we would
wait and wait patiently, there would spring up a relationship between us and
Christ so close and so tender that we should afterwards be amazed how far
distant our intercourse with Him had previously been.
I know there are a great many difficulties about this
question of holiness; I know that all do not think exactly the same with
regard to it. But that would be to me a matter of comparative indifference
if I could see that all are honestly longing to be free from every sin. But
I am afraid that unconsciously there are in hearts often compromises with
the idea: “We cannot be without sin; we must sin a little every day—we
cannot help it.” Oh, that people would actually cry to God: “Lord, do keep
me from sin!” Give yourself utterly to Jesus, and ask Him to do His very
utmost for you in keeping you from sin.
In conclusion, let me gather up all in one word. Christ
Jesus said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” In other words: “I, the
living One who have so completely given Myself to you, am the Vine. You
cannot trust Me too much. I am the Almighty Worker, full of a divine life
and power.” Christians, you are the branches of the Lord Jesus Christ. If
there is in your heart the consciousness: “I am not a strong, healthy,
fruit-bearing branch, I am not closely linked with Jesus, I am not living in
Him as I should be”— then listen to Him saying: “I am the Vine, I will
receive you, I will draw you to Myself, I will bless you, I will strengthen
you, I will fill you with My Spirit. I, the Vine, have taken you to be My
branches; I have given Myself utterly to you; children, give yourselves
utterly to Me. I have surrendered Myself as God absolutely to you; I became
Man and died for you that I might be entirely yours. Come and surrender
yourselves entirely to be Mine.”
What shall our answer be? Oh, let it be a prayer from
the depths of our heart, that the living Christ may take each one of us and
link us close to Himself. Let our prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall
so link each of us to Himself that we shall go on our way with our hearts
singing: “He is my Vine, and I am His branch; I want nothing more— now I
have the everlasting Vine.” Then when you get alone with Him, worship and
adore Him, praise and trust Him, love Him and wait for His love. “Thou art
my Vine, and I am Thy branch. It is enough, my soul is satisfied.” Glory to
His blessed name!
Redemption and Forgiveness of Our Sins
The most important theological meaning of the
Resurrection is that attributed to it by Paul. By Jesus’ death on the Cross,
His resurrection saves and justifies us according to Romans 4:25, “Who was
betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure
our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving
us from all guilt before God].”
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How is the resurrection connected to our forgiveness?
Isn't it the death of Jesus that takes away our sin, because he bore our
sins and took our judgment (1
Corinthians 15:3)? Yes. But the connection with the resurrection is very
4:25 puts it like this. "He was handed over [to death] on account of our
transgressions, and he was raised on account of our justification."
This means that by his death he paid the penalty for our sins and purchased
our acquittal, our justification, our forgiveness. And since the achievement
of the cross was so complete and the
work of our
justification so decisive, God raised Jesus from the dead to validate our
forgiveness and to vindicate his Son's righteousness and to celebrate the
work of justification.
Channels of His Power
Empowered living as
the “sons and daughters in the image of Christ”
Jesus’ Resurrection gives us
eternal resurrection life, and newness
even in this life. The Word of God says, “We were buried therefore with
Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the
dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually]
live and behave in newness
of life” (Romans 6:4).
were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him
through your faith in the power [working; active agency] of
God, who raised
Christ from the dead” (Colossians 2:12, emphasis added). - Expanded
further walk in this sonship according to Philippians 3:10-11, “ [For
my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively
become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and
recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and
more clearly], and that I may in that
same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it
exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to
be continually transformed [in spirit
into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and
moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in
the body].” - Emphasis added…
if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then]
He Who raised up Christ Jesus from
the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable)
bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not
obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set
up by the dictates] of the flesh.
if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die.
But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting
to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body,
you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you
have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in
bondage to fear,
but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!”
We Are Channels for His Power
“That I may know him, and the power of his
resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable
unto his death...I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing
I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto
those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:10, 13-14).
Paul got a vision and revelation of the resurrection
power of Christ, and so he was saying, “I will not stop until I have laid
hold of what God has laid hold of me for.”
For what purpose has God laid hold of
us? To be channels for His power. He wants to manifest the power of the Son
of God through you and me. God helps us to manifest the faith of Christ, the
compassion of Christ, the resurrection power of Christ.
There is power in the name of Jesus. Let us apprehend
it, the power of His Resurrection, the power of His fellowship with the
Father, and the power of His love.
Jesus inspires us to rise up and follow him. In
Christian Science, this is more than worship. His love was so powerful that
it rouses us to love God supremely and to love others as ourselves. Learning
from Jesus evokes a desire to obey him and emulate his works. This includes
healing the sick by becoming so filled with the eternal Christ spirit that
all fear and doubt vanish. Christ is that Word of God lived so abundantly by
Jesus that we can discern it in all ages.
Christ, the title given to Jesus, is the healing power
that dissolves suffering in exchange for the profound feeling of being loved
and being well. Mary Baker Eddy finds in Scriptures evidence that Jesus was
human—among us—but he was the divinely appointed Messiah, or as he said
himself, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:16).
The Greatest News in All the World
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The greatest news in all the world is that God and his
Son are most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in them. And to
make that true God raised his Son Jesus from the dead to reign forevermore.
In raising Him from the dead:
he gave us forgiveness and glorified Jesus as
the all-sufficient forgiver;
he gave us a friend to count on and glorified
Jesus as utterly reliable;
he gave us guidance and unchanging truth and
glorified Jesus as the absolute foundation for truth and righteousness;
he gave us a life that is not pitiable but
enviable, a ministry that is not in vain but fruitful, and glorified
Jesus as the source and goal of all life and all ministry;
and he gave us everlasting joy that will not be
ended by death, and glorified Jesus as the author of life, the victor
over death, and the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
The Resurrection of the Dead
Jesus tells us, “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not
read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of
the living” (Matthew 22:31-32).
The Bible clearly affirms
the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, both the righteous and the
The Resurrection should
also be understood as a prophetic preview guaranteeing the
future bodily resurrection of the final destination of the
Christian in God’s victorious providence heaven, [Paradise] or to the
unsaved eternal damnation in hell, and the lake of fire.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes
in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). What is death is the
question that needs to be answered. And the answer is simple it is the
separation of the spirit from the body. As James 2:26 states, “as the body
without the spirit is dead.” Death is
a separation of the spirit that gave life to the body.
Jesus said everyone will be
resurrected, “Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming
when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,
29 And they shall come out—those who have practiced
doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who
have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence]”
[the same] hope in God which these themselves hold and look
for, that there is to be a resurrection
both of the righteous and the
unrighteous (the just and the unjust)”
(Acts 24:15). - AMP
The Scriptural teaching, is
that for those who reject Jesus Christ, hell involves both spiritual and
physical anguish: "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but
cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul
and body in hell (Gehenna)” (Matthew 10:28).
“14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose
again, even so God will also bring with Him through Jesus those who have
fallen asleep [in death]. 15 For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own]
word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in
no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those
who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death].
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a
loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of
the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will
17 Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth],
shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the
clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of
the eternities) we shall be with the Lord!” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
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…The Bible teaches that the resurrection is a
transformation of the same bodies we had on earth. As humans, we are not
just spiritual, but physical. Our bodies are a very important part of our
identity--they are part of who we are. Therefore, if we deny that we are
raised with the same bodies we had on earth, we are denying a significant
part of our identity. At the same time, if we deny that our resurrected
bodies are transformed, we are left with the depressing idea that we will
forever be subject to the weaknesses we now have, such as sickness, fatigue,
The Church's belief in this doctrine (called
"glorification") is squarely rooted in Scripture. Speaking of Christians,
Paul states that "the dead will be raised imperishable" (1
Corinthians 15:52) and that "God has not only raised the Lord,
but will also raise us up through His power" (1
Corinthians 6:14). Jesus often spoke of the coming resurrection
of the dead (Matthew 22:30-32; Luke
11:25), and taught that "an hour is coming, in which all who are
in the tombs will . . . come forth; those who did the good deeds to a
resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection
of judgment" (John
We will have the same bodies: There are many Scriptural
reasons for believing that we will be raised with the same body that died.
First, Christ was raised in the same body He had before He died. We know
this because the tomb was empty (Luke
24:1-6) and because His resurrected body retained scars from the
Since Christ's resurrection is the pattern that our resurrection will follow
Cor. 15:49), then we will also be raised with the same body.
Second, this is also evident from the very meaning of
the term "resurrection of the dead" (1
Corinthians 15:13, etc.). The phrase means: that which is dead
(namely, our body) is made alive. If the same body that died is not the body
that was raised, Paul could not call it the "resurrection of the dead." It
would not be a resurrection at all.
Third, the phrase "the dead will be raised" (1
Cor. 15:52) also communicates this. John Piper comments on this
verse that, "If God meant to start all over with no continuity between the
body I have now and the one I will have, why would Paul say 'the dead will
be raised'? Why would he not say, 'the dead will not be raised (since they
are decomposed and their molecules are scattered into plants and animals for
a thousand miles) and so God will start from scratch'? He did not say that,
because it is not true" (Future Grace, 372).
3:20-1 says that our earthly body is transformed into conformity
with Christ's body in the resurrection, not that God creates a new body from
scratch: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait
for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our
humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of
the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself."
Fifth, Jesus speaks of the resurrection as involving
the coming forth out of tombs, which strongly indicates that the
resurrection is the reanimation of the body that had been lied to rest
originally: "An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear
His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a
resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection
of judgment" (John
Sixth, Paul's statement "it is sown a perishable body,
it is raised an imperishable body" (1
Corinthians 15:42) establishes that there is a continuity between
our current body and our resurrected body, for it is the same "it" in both
Seventh, verse 53 indicates that the same body we have
now (which is mortal), will become immortal: "For this perishable must put
on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality."
We will have transformed bodies: In 1
Corinthians 15:35-37, it may appear as if Paul is teaching that
we are raised with a different body than which we had on earth: "...what you
sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow the
body that shall be, but mere grain." But upon examining the whole context,
we see that Paul is not denying that it will be the same body. Instead, he
is affirming that in the resurrection our bodies will be made better than
the state they are now in.
In fact, this passage teaches a continuity between our
bodies now and in the resurrected state by using the analogy from
agriculture. Paul compares the resurrection of the body to the growth of a
plant from a seed. The plant that results is definitely much better than the
seed, just as our resurrection bodies will be better than those we have now.
But there is also a real continuity between the seed and the plant, for they
are the same organism. The same seed that was sown becomes the plant that
grows. Likewise, the same body we have now becomes our resurrected body. But
just as the plant is a result of the seed being transformed into something
with better capacities and qualities, so also in the resurrection our bodies
will receive better qualities and capacities. Thus, when Paul says that we
do not yet have the body that shall be, he means that our current bodies are
not yet in their glorified and improved state (see verses 42-44). They are
not as they will be.
Paul also affirms that the resurrection involves the
transformation of our current bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. "Behold, I
tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in
a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet
will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be
changed." John Piper comments: "He said two things: the dead will
be raised (that teaches continuity); and the dead will be changed (they will
be made imperishable and immortal)" (Future Grace, 372).
In what sense will our bodies be transformed? Paul
tells us in verse 42-44. He says that our current bodies are weak,
perishable, unglorified, and natural. But in the resurrection state they
will be powerful, imperishable, glorious, and spiritual. Our bodies will be
powerful--they will not be subject to stress or fatigue or weakness. Our
bodies will be imperishable--they will not get sick, die, age, or become
injured. Our bodies will be spiritual--they will be fully oriented to and
filled with the Holy Spirit. And our bodies will be glorious. Wayne Grudem
comments on the wonder of this truth:
Because the word 'glory' is so frequently used in
Scripture of the bright shining radiance that surrounds the presence of God
himself, this term suggests that there will also be a kind of brightness or
radiance surrounding our bodies that will be an appropriate outward evidence
of the position of exaltation and rule over all creation that God has given
us. This is also suggested in Matthew
13:43, where Jesus says, 'Then the righteous will shine like the
sun in the kingdom of their Father.' Similarly, we read in Daniel's vision,
'And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament;
and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever' (Daniel
12:3). (Wayne Grudem, Systematic
Importance of the Resurrection
for Creation Research. All Rights Reserved.
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done
by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection.
If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false
religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith
is absolute truth.
Death is our greatest enemy and it has conquered all
men but Christ. No man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to
purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave
always wins the victory and every person sooner or later returns to the
In fact, the inexorable triumph of death applies not
only to people, but to all things. Animals die and plants die, and even
whole species atrophy and become extinct. Cities and nations, like people,
are born and grow for a season, and then fade away. Homes and automobiles
and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do
their owners. Even the universe itself is running down and heading toward an
ultimate "heat death."
This universal reign of decay and death is called in
the Bible "the bondage of corruption" (Romans 8:21). In science it has come to be
recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Also known as the Law of
Increasing Entropy, this Law is now recognized as a universal law of
science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply that
every system tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually to die.
Its entropy, which is a measure of disorder, always tends to increase.
The universality of the reign of decay and death is the
measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other
men, even the greatest men and the holiest men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed,
Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx--men who made a profound impact on the
world in one way or another--are all dead.
But Jesus Christ is alive! It is true that He died and
was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned
from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and
emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all
miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if
Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.
The final book, Revelation, opens with Christ's
identification of Himself as "the first begotten of the dead," and as the
one "that liveth, and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore" (Revelation
The Empty Tomb – The fact that the tomb was empty shows clearly that
the resurrection of Christ was a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual
resurrection. The latter idea is a self-contradiction, in fact, because the
spirit does not die and therefore cannot be "resurrected." Indeed,
resurrection takes place when the spirit returns to the body from which it
The Appearances of Christ – Not only was the tomb empty, but the
disciples actually saw their resurrected Lord, on at least ten separate
occasions after He left the tomb. These appearances were probably in the
To Mary Magdalene
20:11-18; Mark 16:9)
To the other women
To Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5)
To the two on the
road to Emmaus (Luke
24:13-35; Mark 16:12)
To ten of the
24:36-43; John 20:19-29)
To all eleven
disciples, eight days later (John 20:24-29)
To seven disciples
by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-23)
To five hundred
To James (1
To the eleven, at
the ascension (Acts
Creation and Resurrection –
The universal reign of death in the world is explainable only in terms
of the Creator's curse on man and his dominion because of his sin (Genesis 3:17-19). Since God the Creator was
the One who imposed this universal law of death, it is only He who can
supersede and change it.
The unique bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is clear
proof that He is God, as well as man, because only God could conquer death.
The great Creator became the Son of
Man that He might die for man’s sin, but He also remained God and death
could not hold Him!
In the same way, His second work--that of
Redemption--was now also perfect and complete. After suffering hell
itself--spiritual death--on the cross, dying alone under all the weight of
the sins of every man, He shouted in victory "It is finished!" (John 19:30). He dismissed His spirit from His
body, allowing it to be buried in certain testimony that His death was also
a physical death. When He returned to the body three days later, imparting
to it a glorious, eternal, resurrection life, He demonstrated to all men of
all the ages that He indeed was the Creator, that the problem of sin had
been solved, and that death had forever lost its sting.
The redemption price has been paid, and one day, "the
[creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).
Until that day, when He "[makes] all things new" (Revelation 21:5), His promise of
forgiveness, salvation, resurrection, and eternal life is available on an
individual basis to every person who believes Him and accepts His Word. "For
if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Romans 5:10).
Paul writes in Romans 1:3-4
“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David
according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power
according to the Spirit of holiness, by
the resurrection from the dead.”
Romans 6:5, “For if we have been
united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in
the likeness of His resurrection.”
That's My King by S.M.
late S.M. Lockridge once presented an incredible message describing our Jesus.
Please view this awesome message played out on DVD until the last quote
God Be The Glory!
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