A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN

Author: Pr. kalungi Denis November 26, 2021 316 views 2 comments
Fig: A picture representing A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN .

UNDERSTANDING BORN AGAIN BY PR. KALUNGI DENIS

KIREKA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

What Is a Born Again Christian?

The phrase “Born Again Christian” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or Redeemer. To be born again in this sense is not an actual physical rebirth, but it indicates a spiritual rebirth.

Who is a Born Again Christian? Meaning and Significance

Being born again is a Christian having a change or transformation of the soul and heart by the work of God’s Spirit. One’s soul is the part of our being that consists of three things: the mind (or its disposition), emotions (feelings), and our will (what we determine). 

When we become born-again Christians we experience a change in the way we think, the way we manage our emotions, and the choices we make by our will.

The phrase “born again Christian” is frequently misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we see that its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing spiritual renewal. It is an expression used by many Protestants to define the moment or process of fully accepting faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when the teachings of Christianity and Jesus become real, and the "born again" requires a personal relationship with God.

The term is originated from an incident in the New Testament in which the words of Jesus were not understood by a Jewish Pharisee, Nicodemus.

Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." "How can someone be born when they are old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." {John 3:3-5 NIV}

What does it mean to be born again and how does one become a born again? as I mentioned above the phrase “born again” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or Redeemer. 

The born-again soul realizes that they’re sinner {Romans 3:23} and that the penalty for that sin is death {Romans 6:23}. To rectify the circumstances, God sent His only Son to die in their place, to take the punishment for sin {Romans 5:8}. They accept him confess & repent their sins {Romans 10:9-13} Then they take on the baptism of the water leading them to the baptism of Holy Spirit and Fire {Mathew 3:11} and believing that after Jesus’s death, He arose from the dead {1 Corinthians 15:3-6}. Jesus is the only way to God {John 14:6} and He provides the blessing of salvation. Each person has the choice to receive or reject God’s gift through faith {Ephesians 2:8-9} and experience new birth {John 3:1-8}. Whoever follows Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, and has accepted His gift of life can be called Christian. That is where the journey of rebirth begins.

Why do I need to be born again?

Before being born again I am led by my human inclinations, namely the desires of the flesh. Generally, this is what guides my thought processes and decisions. But the desires of the flesh do not lead to the life of Christ, which is what I am called to. To give in to desires such as: 

Pride

Laziness

Greed,

Envy

Selfishness, and many other forms of evil, leads to sin. Jesus describes the pre-born-again mind like this: “Because you say ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and require nothing – and do not know that you are worthless, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” {Revelation 3:17}. It is when I acknowledge that I am as described in that verse that I am at the point where I am ready to be born again “of water and the Spirit.” Nothing that I have as a result of being born of the flesh, as a natural person, is capable of serving God. 

When I acknowledge that I am not able to do the good, then God can take over. I need to surrender absolutely everything to be born of the Spirit – because it is a rebirth of the mind and heart. I become dead to the desires of the flesh and alive to the promptings of the Spirit.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and I no longer live in the flesh but by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” {Galatians 2:20}. Of course, I still have a flesh that craves fulfillment of its desires, but now these desires are overcome and no longer influence me. Instead, I live to what the Spirit is guiding me to, which is the truth. 

My “old man,” as Paul calls it my pre-born-again mindset, must remain crucified with Christ and the new life I have been born to be the life of Christ. The life of Jesus is to be manifested in my mortal flesh. {2 Corinthians 4:11} It is precisely because I have been born of the Spirit, and the Spirit lives in me, that I have the power to resist temptation, to remain crucified to the desires of the flesh, and to live for Christ. {Romans 15:13}

Characteristics of the New Life of a born again.

 It’s a spiritual experience. The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He convicts us of sin and helps us understand that our good works are insufficient in His eyes and will never make us fit for heaven. But He also assures us of God’s love and leads us to confess and repent of our sins and trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.

It’s a definite experience. Like physical birth, there’s a specific point at which a person is born again. It starts with the conviction of sin and the realization that Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for the penalty for our sin. We call out to Him for forgiveness, turn away from our old sinful lifestyle, and in faith accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. It’s not a slow process but a radical change. There must be a transformation within our hearts that is so clear that we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have been born again. 

For some people, this moment may have occurred in childhood and they may no longer have a specific memory of it. Or, they may have been born again as an adult but may not have understood what was happening at the time. But as long as there is full faith in Jesus, they have been born again.

Jesus is the only one who can make us fit for heaven with new birth. All other religions rely on good works, but no one can be good enough for God because we’ve all sinned against Him. We may seem righteous in our own eyes, but when measured against the perfection of God’s standards as found in His Word, we have no hope of heaven.

We are not saved by our righteous acts but by God’s mercy and the regeneration of the Spirit {Titus 3:5}. If we could be good enough, then the cross was a horrible mistake because it would have been unnecessary. However, only the shed blood of God’s Son could make forgiveness possible. This is the evidence of God’s awesome love and power—that He would reach down and save sinners.

It’s a lasting experience. Being born again changes us forever, but this doesn’t mean that we will be perfect. Our old sinful nature is still present in us, but as we confess our sins, Jesus’ blood continually cleanses us. We are now called to a life of:

Holiness, 

Obedience,

Surrender, and love for God. There must be external evidence that proves there’s been an inner transformation.

There’s a change in our relationship with God. Until Jesus becomes our Savior, we are enemies of God. Although we may be quick to deny that we are against Him, there is no neutral ground. We have either been reconciled to God through His Son, or we are at odds with Him.

There is a change in our position. The separation and enmity between God and us have been removed {Ephesians 2:14-16}. Now we’re a part of His kingdom and members of His family. Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we will never lose our salvation {Revelations 20:15}

There’s a change in attitude. The Holy Spirit works in us, sealing us as God’s children, transforming our hearts, and living in Christ’s life in us. He gives us wisdom, reveals the truth, and guides us throughout our lives.

There is a change in our destination. Jesus said, “He who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” {John 5:24}. The Holy Spirit’s presence in us is our guarantee that we are forever children of God, and our eternal destiny in heaven is secure.

Why did Jesus come?

His coming was prophetically anticipated. Frequently in the Old Testament scriptures, we find predictions of the first advent/arrival of our Lord. The fact and purpose of His coming are presented to us in promises throughout the following books: Genesis 3:15, 21; 4:1-5; Exodus 12:13; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 53:5-6; Lamentations 1:12.

His coming was historically authenticated. In the four Gospels and the Letters we have the historical record of the Savior’s birth and life. Added to this, of course, we have the independent testimony of secular historians. Thus, we can join the writer of this letter and say, “We know also that the Son of God has come.” 

 1 John 5:20. We can be sure of our Lord’s coming and the reasons why He came. I state that although there are several reasons why he came I would start with the greatest purpose as to seek and to save the Lost! People like:

Zacchaeus - deceptive traitors and evil-doers

Paul - Christian haters and murderers

John - seekers of God who have not yet found Him

And you - in whatever category you fit (godless, god-hater, god-seeker or otherwise), with whatever sins, in whatever shape, with whatever baggage, with whatever past and whatever future

According to {1 JOHN 3:5} He came to be our Sin-bearer.

This verse reads, “You know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. “The word ‘appeared’ is significant; it infers/concludes our Lord’s pre-existence. When He was born at Bethlehem, that was not His beginning - look up and compare {John 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 1:1-12}. Why then did He come? The answer is: to take away our sins! So the essential purpose of the incarnation was not that our Lord might become our Example or our Teacher, but that He might be our Sin-bearer.

According to {1 JOHN 3:8} - He came to destroy the works of the Devil.

The verse reads, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Satan is the instigator of all the sin and suffering that the human race has known; all the sickness, heartbreaks, murders, and wars come because of his presence in the world. But Jesus came to destroy Satan and to restore to us all that we have lost through his evil workings, and He did this by His death upon the cross of Calvary.

There, once and for all, Satan was defeated look at {Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:10. Jesus bound the strong man- look at {Mark 3:27}. He did this potentially; and soon, at His second coming, He will do it actually - look at {Revelation 20:10. In John 10:10} there is a beautiful illustration of this. Satan, as a thief, comes to rob, spoil and destroy, but Jesus comes to reverse the whole process and to overthrow and remove all Satan’s works. What a great thing it is to be on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ! What a solemn thing to be on the Devil’s side! Look at {Matthew 12:30}. Satan today is doing his utmost to keep men and women in the dark concerning the Person and the work of Jesus Christ our Lord - look at {2 Corinthians 4:4}. He is also intent on attacking and accusing God’s children, but thank God he defeated the foe! Look at {Romans 16:20}.

1 JOHN 4:9 - He came to give us Eternal Life.

The verse reads, “This is how he showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. “Jesus came to give us eternal life. This was our greatest need because the coming of sin had brought death upon the whole human race, spiritual death, which had separated us from God - look at {Romans 5:12}; Ephesians 2:1, and compare John 5:40}. We were spiritually dead; God loved us and sent his one and only Son into the world that we might have eternal life. This is the good news of the gospel - look at {John 3:16}. How do we get this life? Look at {1 John 5:11-12} and see. Do you possess eternal life and have the assurance that you have passed from death into life? - look at {John 5:24}.

1 JOHN 4:10 - He came to be the Atoning Sacrifice for our sins.

The verse reads, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. “These words are saying that the Lord Jesus not only came to take away our sins, but that because He did that by offering Himself as the sacrifice for sin, He entirely vindicated the holy and righteous character of God, and satisfied all the demands of His holiness and justice, thus enabling Him to be merciful to the sinner. 

God is righteously angry with our sinfulness - look at {Psalm 7:11}. His holy and righteous nature demands this. Sin must be punished. But sin has been punished in the Person of our Substitute, who bore our sins in His body on the tree - look at {1 Peter 2:24}. Thus, we can say with the psalmist - look at {Psalm 103:10}. The Lord Jesus has once and for all dealt with the sin question, and because our trust is in Him we are safe and secure. How wonderful to have this assurance!

1 JOHN 4:14 - He came to be the Saviour of the World.

The verses we have already seen testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Jesus is the Saviour of the world; the work of salvation which He accomplished upon the cross is adequate for all people, everywhere. Christ is the universal Saviour. Look at {Luke 2:10-11}

 John 4:39-42. Does this mean that everyone is saved? No, it means that salvation is available and provided for all - but it has to be accepted. Jesus is the only Saviour - look at {Acts 4:12}. He is well able to save all who come to Him – look at {Hebrews 7:25}, but to be saved we must call upon and trust Him as our aviour - look at {Romans 10:13}.

Life of a born again. In other words, how should Christians live? 

Light to the world, “Mathew 5:14-16, you are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. {It’s all about your good deeds that will show the light of the lord but not the light its self-} so God light to you by his salvation so that you can be light to the world.

Salt of the world,” Mathew 5:13, you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. { salt has a taste so born against we should have that taste but when we lose it that’s why you find people saying if so and so is a born again me I am a pastor because so and is no longer having a taste}

Righteous,“ Ephesians 4:28, Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. So if with your old person you have been stealing it’s time to stop it and be the light to the world because the name you represent is righteous.

Live a blameless life by putting away the old person at work,” Colossians 3:8-10, 3:12 but now you must get rid of yourselves of all such things as these: 

Anger

Rage

Malice

Slander

And filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Meaning life according to {Colossians 3:12} Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with:

Compassion

Kindness

Humility

Gentleness and patience

To live as an example to others, “Titus 2:1-4, you, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, love, and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 

Born again Christians should behave like soldiers, “2 Timothy 2:4-6, No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. So as born again our commanding officer is the Lord so we should live to his commands.

This is why the psalmist asked in {psalms 119:9} How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word/commands.

Born again Christian should live a forgiving life,” Mathew 5:43-48, you have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Carry each one's burdens, it’s an obligation for a born-again Christian to carry others burdens {Galatians 6:1-2} Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Love, all born again must bear the fruit of love, {1 John 4:7-8}, Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Is salvation by grace?

Salvation is by grace through faith alone, not as a result of good works, so that God alone gets the glory. to get understand this, you must understand the five key concepts: “saved”; “grace”; “faith”; “gift” (as opposed to “works”); and, “boast” (or, glory).

To be saved means that the Lord Jesus Christ has rescued us from God’s wrath and judgment.

As we see in {Ephesians 2:1-3}, we were formerly dead in our trespasses and sins, and “were by nature children of wrath.” God’s wrath is not a popular topic in our day, but if you get rid of the concept, you may as well throw out your entire Bible, because it is throughout both the Old and New Testaments. It reaches a climax in the Book of Revelation, which shows that God will pour out His wrath on this evil world, culminating in the final, eternal judgment of the lake of fire. Because of sin, we all are alienated from God in His holiness. All who are not saved are under God’s righteous judgment, objects of His wrath.

Theological has always emphasized God’s love and denied His wrath. But in our day, this kind of watered-down thinking is not only in liberal circles. It is also popular among those who profess to be evangelicals.

The point is, if we are not under God’s wrath, then Jesus didn’t need to go to the cross and we don’t need to be saved. By going to the cross, Jesus paid the penalty that we are under because of our sin. Paul here says, “For by grace you have been saved.” Either you have been saved or you haven’t. There is no middle ground. Either Jesus has rescued you from God’s wrath or you are not saved. The next word to understand is, “grace.”Salvation by grace alone means that we did absolutely nothing to earn or merit salvation.

Simply defined, grace is God’s unmerited favor. If you did anything to earn it or deserve it, it is not grace. If God owes it to you because you’re a pretty good person or you’ve tried to do the best you can, it is not grace. If God gives it to you because He foresaw that you would believe in Him of your own free will, it is not grace. Grace means that you get the opposite of what you deserve. You deserve God’s wrath because you have sinned against Him. Instead, He saves you by His grace.

Grace cuts directly against the brain of human thinking, because it is not fair. We value fairness. If someone does wrong, he should get what he has done. If someone does right, he should be rewarded. But if someone does wrong and gets rewarded despite it, we protest, “That’s not fair!”

Take a guy who is a thief. He has stolen from hardworking people. On some occasions, he has hurt his victims or even killed them. But he shrugs it off and continues his life of crime. Finally, he is apprehended and convicted. On death row, he hears that God will forgive all of his sins if he will trust in Christ, even though he does not deserve it and he cannot make up for what he has done. At first, he can’t believe it. It sounds too good to be true. But then he does believe it. He trusts Christ to save him from eternal judgment. He dies and goes to spend eternity with God in heaven. That’s not fair! Or, take the case of a very religious guy He prays several times a day. He fasts twice a week. He gives ten percent of his income to charitable causes. He doesn’t swindle people out of money. He treats others fairly. He has been faithful in his marriage. He thinks that doing all of these things will commend himself to God. But, he dies and goes to hell. We cry, “That’s not fair!”

But, I didn’t make up these stories. The thief was hanging next to Jesus on the cross. Jesus paid his debt and the thief went to heaven that very day {Luke 23:39-43}. The religious man was the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable who thought himself to be righteous {Luke 18:9-14}. He was not justified from his sins, because he was trusting in his own good works to save him.

If God were fair, we’d all go to hell, because we all have sinned. God did not compromise His righteousness or justice to forgive us. His justice demands that the penalty be paid. Jesus paid the penalty on the cross for all that trust in Him. In that way, God can be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus {Rom. 3:26}.” We naturally resist God’s grace because it robs us of all our pride. But there is no other way of salvation. It is by grace alone. But we also need to understand, “faith.”

Salvation through faith alone means that we receive salvation through trusting in what Jesus did for us on the cross.

Many people misunderstand the nature of saving faith. Some have a sort of general, vague faith in God, whoever He may be, and that is kind of like positive thinking. “I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows! I believe in the basic goodness of people and the goodness of God. Everything will turn out for the good in the end.” But that is not saving faith.

Some think that faith is mere assent/agreement to certain facts. In other words, they think that making a decision to accept Christ constitutes saving faith, even if there is no repentance and no subsequent obedience to Christ as Lord. That kind of mere assent to the facts of the gospel is not saving faith. To understand saving faith, you need to grasp two things:

Saving faith includes knowledge, assent, and trust.

First, there must be knowledge. There is content that must be understood. Some say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.” That’s like saying, “It doesn’t matter what medicine you take, as long as you’re sincere.” It matters greatly that you take the right medicine in the right dose, or you could die! To be saved, you must know something about God. 

He is righteous, 

Holy

Just, and loving.

You must also know that you have sinned against God and stand guilty and condemned before Him. 

You must know that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who took on human flesh, born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life and died on the cross as the substitute for sinners, paying on their behalf the penalty that God demands. But God raised Him from the dead and He ascended into heaven. He will return bodily to judge the living and the dead, but also to save all that have trusted in Him. These are basic facts, revealed in the Bible, that you must know to be saved. But, also, you must give assent to these facts, or agree that they are true. A student could know all of these facts well enough to pass an exam, but not affirm that they are true. Saving faith includes intellectually assenting to the truth of the gospel. But if that is all that saving faith entails, then Satan and the demons are saved. They know these things and they know that they are true. 

The third element in saving faith is personal trust, or commitment. 

To illustrate, you may be an expert on aircraft. You know that a certain plane is well constructed and mechanically sound. You may also agree that the plane will fly. You’ve watched it fly many times. You affirm that it is a good plan. But knowing these facts and agreeing to them will not get you anywhere. To get to a destination, you must commit yourself to getting on board the plane.

Saving faith is personally trusting Jesus Christ, committing your eternal destiny to what He did for you on the cross. Just as you entrust your life totally to the pilot when you get on board a plane, so you entrust your eternal destiny totally to Jesus and His death as your substitute on the cross. You trust God’s promise that He will justify the one who has faith in Jesus {Rom. 3:26}. And, implicit/hidden in “getting on board” with Christ is that you can’t keep one foot on the “terminal” of your sins, and the other onboard with Christ. You must commit yourself to following Him as your Lord.

Saving faith does not originate with us.

Faith is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Also, to say that salvation is not of yourselves doesn’t add anything to what has just been said, that you are saved by grace.

Philippians 1:29, “Paul says, for to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him total but also to suffer for His sake.”

Earlier in my ministry, I did not understand this point. I thought that all people have sufficient faith to believe in Christ. After all, we all exercise faith in many things every day. When we drive, we trust that others will obey the traffic laws. We trust that our food and water are not contaminated. We trust the doctor who scribbles an unreadable prescription and the pharmacist, who looks at this scribbling and hands us a bottle of pills. We trust the bank with our paycheck. I used to think that people just needed to transfer such faith to Jesus as the object of their faith.

But saving faith is different. To the natural man, the cross is foolishness {1 Cor. 1:18}. He cannot understand the things of God {1 Cor. 2:14}. He is blind to the light of the gospel {2 Cor. 4:4}. He is not able to submit to or please God {Rom. 8:7-8}. For the unbeliever in this darkened spiritual state to believe, God must first impart new life to him. His immediate response is to believe in Christ.

So Paul has shown that salvation—being rescued from God’s wrath—is by grace alone through faith alone in what Jesus did for us on the cross. Also…

Salvation is God’s free gift to us.

It is the gift of God, not as a result of works. Some will argue that God chose us for salvation because He foresaw that we would believe. But then salvation would not be a gift by God’s grace, but rather something that we merited by our faith.

Paul adds that God’s gift is “not as a result of works.” It is completely free, stemming from God’s grace alone {Ephesians 2:8-10} 

Salvation gives all the glory to God and none to us.

He concludes {Ephesians 2: 9}, “so that no one may boast.” Or, as he puts it in {1 Corinthians 1:31} after arguing that salvation rests on God’s choosing us, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” If any part of salvation, including the faith that saves, comes from us, then we have some grounds for boasting. No, Paul says, if salvation is totally of the Lord, then He gets all the glory.

Build your strength in salvation always going back to the verses below:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me."{Philippians 4:13}; "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"{Isaiah 41:10}; "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”{Deuteronomy 31:6}; "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."{Isaiah 40:31}; "The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him."{Exodus 15:2} have those verses they will strengthen you always.

Prayer

Lord, I’m weary. My energy is sagging/dropping, and my motivation is lagging. And I am so in need of you. I need your strength and your fresh touch to get back on track again. Your Word says the joy of the Lord is my strength. If that's true, then I need your joy to replace all the bone-tired parts of my mind, body, and soul. So help me Lord in the Journey of salvation where I am the light of and the salt of the world. Amen.

LIFE OF A BORN AGAIN

2 comments

Lynn   -   

December 15, 2021
God bless you for this wonderful work.

Anthony   -   

December 16, 2021
Thanks for the message pastor keep good work may God bless you...

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