Salvation as Propitiation
P. G. Mathew | Sunday, July 20, 2008
Copyright © 2008, P. G. Mathew
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. ( Romans 3:25 )
In Romans 3:21-26, salvation is seen from three perspectives: justification, redemption, and propitiation. The last doctrine, propitiation, speaks about the Christ of the cross. It is a forgotten doctrine, a doctrine greatly detested especially by theological liberals, meaning those who do not accept the authority of the Bible, who do not believe in the deity of Christ or heaven and hell, who do not believe in miracles, sin, in God's creating the world out of nothing, or the fall of man. This distinction becomes important when you are looking at words like "propitiation." Liberal translations like the Revised Standard Version and the New English Bible translate the Greek word hilasterion (Rom. 3:25) as "expiation" instead of "propitiation," which is the word used correctly by the King James Version, the English Standard Version, and the New American Standard Version. First, then, we must explore the meaning of this word propitiation.
Definition of Propitiation
Propitiation has to do with offering a sacrifice to an angry God to appease his wrath that he may be favorably disposed, or propitious, gracious, to the offerer, the worshiper. Expiation has no Godward reference. It speaks about cancellation of sins, but has only a manward reference. In other words, the use of the word "expiation" eliminates a God who is angry against human sin. This word propitiation is taken from the world of ancient religion, just as justification comes from the legal world, and redemption comes from the marketplace.
We still see illustrations of propitiation today. Years ago I visited a country where people would leave offerings such as flowers, food, cigarettes, and other commodities for their gods. These worshipers were trying to appease the wrath of their gods that they would be gracious to them and bless them.
Today God is not seen as angry or wrathful, but as a kindly grandfather, an indulgent Santa Claus who approves everything we do and never becomes angry. Additionally, liberal theologians who reject biblical authority declare that propitiation is not a biblical idea. But the truth is, the Bible speaks of a wrathful God on almost every page. In the Old Testament there are twenty different Hebrew words used 580 times to express God's wrath against the sin of his people. In Romans 1:8-3:20 Paul speaks of the wrath of God revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. All have sinned against God's law and all are under God's wrath. Paul is not speaking of the capricious wrath of pagan deities; he is speaking of the stern and settled reaction of the holy God against the evil of man. Leon Morris states: "Certainly we must retain the idea of the wrath of God, for, as Edwyn Bevan has pointed out, the idea that God cannot be angry is neither Hebrew nor Christian, but something borrowed from Greek philosophy."1 Ancient Greek philosophy spoke of an apathetic god, one who is without feelings and therefore cannot become angry. But we can also say that such a God cannot be loving. Theological liberals love to speak about a God who is love and always forgives. They fail to deduce that if God is not wrathful, his forgiveness is meaningless and so also his love.
The Scriptures teach about the wrath of God because it points up the seriousness of sin. God hates sin with a perfect hatred (Ps. 11:5). Jesus himself spoke of hellfire, eternal fire, unquenchable fire. The writer to the Hebrews speaks about God as a consuming fire. It is only through God's own propitiation that his wrath can be averted and men can be brought into a new relationship to him.
Seeing how God's people were destroyed by the Babylonians, Jeremiah writes, "We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us" (Lam. 3:42-46). The entire book of Lamentations reveals a God who was angry with his people.
The psalmist says, "You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors" (Ps. 5:4-6). Jesus also can become angry (Mark 3:5; see also 2 Thess. 1:7-9). John speaks of the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:16; 19:15). Therefore, we do not believe in an apathetic god of Greek philosophy who neither becomes angry nor loves. We believe in the holy God of the Scriptures who hates sin and punishes sinners.
Then we must ask: If God hates sin and punishes sinners, and all men are under God's wrath because all have sinned, how then can anyone be saved from God's wrath? The answer is found in this passage: "There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation" or as the New International Version says, "a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood" (Rom. 3:23-25, author's translation).
God Initiated Propitiation
Sinful man did not come up with a sacrifice to appease God's wrath. God himself took the initiative to provide us with a sufficient propitiation to deal with all our sins. In pagan religions, man brings an offering to appease God's wrath, but in Christianity man is not propitiating God. In one sense, it is not even the Lord Jesus Christ who propitiates God's wrath. God the Father took the initiative according to his own predeterminate counsel to appease his own wrath that he may be gracious to us and forgive our sins. This Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides, especially provides for our salvation. So Paul writes, "God presented him" (v. 25), or "whom God publicly displayed as propitiation." In this propitiation initiated and provided for by God, God's wrath and love for sinners meet. God's holiness and love meet on the cross. God is holy; therefore, he must punish sinners. Yet God is also love and does not want to punish sinners. Thus, he punished a substitute in our stead-his own Son, the sinless Jesus Christ. It is to this substitutionary propitiation the entire Old Testament sacrificial system pointed.
In Leviticus 17:11 we read, "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." John writes, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son" (John 3:16). God the Father gave his Son in sacrificial death to make atonement for our sins. Paul says, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Rom. 4:25). God the Father delivered his Son over to death. Elsewhere he says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8) In fact, we are told that he was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). John declares, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10, author's translation). The NIV translates the word hilasmos, "as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
God Publicly Displayed His Son
On the cross, God presented his Son as propitiation (Rom. 3:25). He put him forward, exhibiting him before the entire intelligent world to look at, consider, and ask why this Jesus Christ, the innocent Son of God, was being crucified. Paul writes of this public declaration: "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made manifest" (Rom. 3:21). This is speaking about the cross on Calvary's hill.
Because of the sinful murmuring of his people in the desert, God sent poisonous serpents to bite them (Num. 21). After many people died, the rest acknowledged their sin and God instructed Moses to make a brazen serpent and lift it up so that all who looked at this brazen serpent would be healed. Jesus Christ spoke often of this idea in connection with his own crucifixion: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up" (John 3:14); "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one that I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me" (John 8:28); "But when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself" (John 12:32).
Christ was displayed publicly in the midst of the universe in time and space on Calvary's hill for all intelligent beings, both human or angelic, both holy or evil, to consider and ask why. Think about this action God the Father took in reference to his Son. All people of the world must consider Jesus Christ crucified. Peter tells us, "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23). God delivered his Son over and publicly displayed him on the cross for his own glory that his righteousness be displayed in this exhibition of his Son. God is declaring that he hates and punishes sin instead of ignoring it or passing it over.
God was glorified when he punished our sin in his Son. This was also the Son's prayer: "'Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? "Father, save me from this hour"? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!' Then a voice came from heaven, 'I have glorified it, and will glorify it again'" (John 12:27-28).
The public display of God's Son on the cross brings glory to God's name. The Father displayed him for the world as a sacrifice of atonement. The wages of sin is death and all have sinned. "The soul who sins is the one who will die" (Ezek. 18:20). Unless a God-given sinless substitute dies in our stead, we must die, for we must suffer the fullness of God's wrath against sin. The whole sacrificial system, therefore, teaches us propitiation: the removal of God's wrath by a sacrifice that God may be propitious to us, forgiving all our sins and restoring us to favor and fellowship. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Heb. 9:22). But whose blood is to be shed? Whose death insures the appeasing of God's wrath?
Propitiation through the Blood of the Lamb
The writer to the Hebrews clearly states, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). All the sacrificial animal blood shed throughout the Old Testament era pointed to the blood of the Lamb of God who alone can take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The apostle writes, "[Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).
Leviticus 16 describes the Day of Atonement, when sin offerings were offered for the sin of Aaron and his family, and also for the sins of all Israel. On that day, the high priest, Aaron, properly washed and dressed, would go into the Holy of Holies carrying incense and the blood of the bull and goat sin offerings. He could enter this Most Holy Place only on the Day of Atonement.
Inside the Most Holy Place there would be an ark with a golden cover, on either end of which stood cherubim, whose wings overshadowed this golden lid called the mercy seat (Heb., kapporeth; Grk. hilasterion). The mercy seat is the place of propitiation. This word appears seven times in Leviticus 16 (vv. 2, 13, 14, 15). It covered the ark, which contained tablets of God's commandments that man has broken. Man is guilty and God is angry, and God is seen as enthroned above this golden cover. When the high priest came in, he sprinkled blood from the sacrificed animals on the mercy seat and in front of it. The idea was that God would look down on the blood-sprinkled cover of the ark and see the blood. The guilt of man's sin is therefore removed by the death of the God-given substitute, and the wrath of God is averted. God could now be gracious to forgive and restore man into favor and fellowship. Thus, the sins of Aaron and the people of Israel were forgiven (Lev. 16:34).
Who is the God-given substitute whose death averts God's wrath against us? Whose death removes our sins from God's sight? It is Jesus Christ, whom God publicly displayed upon the cross as our propitiation. Yes, he is our mercy seat, as well as our sinless high priest who lives forever. He is the God-provided victim who offered himself on the altar of the cross to appease God's wrath against us and became our eternal Savior.
Hebrews 2:14 speaks about a kinsman-redeemer, Jesus Christ, who became incarnate that he may redeem us. The word "to propitiate" is found in Hebrews 2:17: "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way in order to that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God in dealing with things pertaining to God in behalf of us, that he might make atonement [propitiate] for the sins of the people." And in Hebrews 2:9 we read, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone." He is the propitiation, the sacrifice of atonement, who tasted death in behalf of us.
God presented Christ as propitiation through faith in his blood (Rom. 3:25). Paul tells us that this propitiation was objectively achieved by Christ's blood poured out in his sacrificial death. Christ's shed blood is the means by which God's wrath is propitiated. The blood defines that in which the propitiatory sacrifice consisted, for the outpoured blood proves death has occurred. In John 10 Jesus declares five times that he will lay down his life for his sheep, and John describes how all the blood was drained out of this final sacrificial victim on the cross (John 19:34). Paul speaks of Christ buying the church "with his own blood" (Acts 20:28), meaning the blood of God.
The Hebrews writer says, "Therefore, brothers, . . . we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19). Peter declares, "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Propitiation was achieved, not by our blood, but by the blood of a God-given substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Is Our Substitute
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, is our propitiation. Isaiah 53 tells us he is our substitute, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Paul writes, "For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died" (2 Cor. 5:14); "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them . . . God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:19, 21). Peter tells us, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By his wounds we are healed. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit" (1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18).
In Christ, the wrath of God against sinners vanishes because the wrath of God in its fullness descended on this God-given substitute who cried out from the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" So as Isaac returned home with great joy, we also can go home with great joy to live forever and ever.
For many years John Bunyan was anxious about his salvation. Then God gave him this idea: "Sinner, thou thinkest that because of thy sins and infirmities, I cannot save thy soul; but behold, My Son is by Me, and upon Him I look, and not on thee, and shall deal with thee according as I am pleased with Him."2
Christ died in our place and for our sins; we are accepted in the Beloved. We are propitiated by Christ's blood, not ours, and when God sees the blood of his Son, he passes over our sins because they are punished fully in him. Jesus is our Passover and propitiation.
This propitiation has four aspects: first, the offense, or the sin and guilt to be taken away; second, the offended party (God) must be pacified, atoned, and reconciled; third, the offending person must be pardoned and received by God; and, fourth, a sacrifice offered to make atonement. (PGM) When Christ died, our sin was cancelled, God's wrath was appeased and disappeared, and now we are forgiven and restored. Paul writes, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near" (Eph. 2:13). Nearer you cannot be. We have been brought into God's kingdom, into God's family-nearer we cannot be. We are in God and God is in us. What a blessing it is! God demanded propitiation and, thank God, he provided it.
No wonder Paul gloried in the cross! He reveled in preaching Christ as our atonement and propitiation: "We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:23-24); "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). Rebuking the Galatians for considering abandoning their faith, he writes, "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed, placarded as crucified" (Gal. 3:1). Then he declares, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14).
Propitiation Proves God's Righteousness
What is the purpose of Christ's propitiation in our behalf? It proves that God is righteous and just when he justifies a wicked person who believes in Jesus. In his forbearance, God passed over sins committed by the saints of the Old Testament. In other words, he did not punish the sins of the saints of the old covenant. Yet they were fully forgiven of their sins, for they trusted in the Messiah who was to come through the God-given sacrificial system. We trust in the Messiah who came. The saints of the Old Testament looked forward to the cross and their sins were forgiven; we look backward to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
Because God passed over the sins committed formerly without punishing them, one could argue that God is indifferent to the claims of divine justice. For example, King David committed adultery and murdered a believer, and Leviticus 20:10 and 24:17 call for the death penalty for such sins. But look at the language used by Nathan the prophet when David confesses his sin: "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' Nathan replied, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die'" (2 Sam. 12:13). What about God and his justice? How can God do this when his own word says to kill those like David who commit such sins? This passage in Romans answers our concerns. It tells us that God passed over the sins of God's people in the Old Testament in his forbearance and self-restraint because he was going to propitiate them in Christ. The cross, then, proves the righteous character of God because all the sins of the saints of the Old Testament were punished in Jesus Christ on the cross as well as all the sins of those who believe who live after Christ.
We must understand that the sins of all the people of the world were not punished in Christ when he died on the cross, but only those of God's people, past, present, and future. God thus demonstrates his righteousness. All have sinned and the wages of sin is death-not just physical and spiritual death, but eternal death-being eternally removed from God's presence. That is what Jesus experienced on the cross. He went to hell in our place.
Propitiation, therefore, upholds God's justice. Because God hates sin, he graciously punishes all our sin in his Son. Dr. James Boice says God is pronouncing wicked sinners to be legally righteous, free from any liability to the broken law because God himself in his Son bore the penalty for our law-breaking.
Isaiah speaks about this: "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:5-6). This propitiation, this Christ's death on the cross, therefore, proves, first, that God is righteous in his nature; second, that God punishes every sin of his elect; third, God is just when he justifies sinners who believe in Jesus; and, fourth, (this is a serious implication), God will punish justly every sinner who refuses to trust in Jesus and every sin he committed. The cross proves he will do it.
Effects of Propitiation
What is the effect of this sacrifice of atonement? First, God forgives all our sins. The Bible speaks of God blotting them out and remembering them no more, of removing them to the farthest extent of the universe, of burying them in the very depth of the ocean. All these metaphors tell us that when God forgives our sins, he removes all our sin, guilt, death, hell, and wrath. Imagine the joy of Isaac and his father when God told Abraham to stop sacrificing Isaac, and then provided a ram to be sacrificed in the place of Isaac. What relief! What inexpressible joy of both the father and the son! And as they rejoined the servants and went home to Sarah, we can imagine Abraham describing what happened. That is salvation. Our sins are forgiven and our guilt is taken away.
The second effect is that we gain access to God. As sinners, we were rebels, far from God. But now we have access to God. What happened at the moment Christ died? "When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Matt. 27:50-51). There was a thick curtain that prevented, not only ordinary Israelites and the priests, but even the high priest from entering into the presence of God. Any who came in would experience death. Fire from the Most Holy Place would kill them, as it did Nadab and Abihu. But now the curtain has been torn by God from top to bottom, and a new way is opened up so that we can go into the very presence of God in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul writes, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1-3), meaning our hope that we will be glorified when God's Son comes in glory.
In Ephesians 2 Paul gives us an understanding of who we were and what Christ has done for us: "Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called 'uncircumcised' by those who call themselves 'the circumcision' (that done in the body by the hands of men)-remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:11-13). All hindrance has been removed.
The writer to the Hebrews exhorts, "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:19-22). Before, we did not have confidence. We were depressed, and the reason for our depression was the guilt of sin. Guilt is like an iron girder that sits on us and pushes us down. Our faces are downcast and we cannot rejoice. But through Christ, our guilt is gone and we have confidence to come into God's presence. We can come to God and pray and enjoy the sunshine of his glorious presence. We are happy in Jesus.
Through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, we now can come to God. The Hebrews writer says, "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24). What is the word we hear from the blood of Christ? Forgiveness, grace, acceptance, mercy. Christ's sprinkled blood is our passport to heaven.
The third effect is that we now experience no condemnation. Paul writes, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). We are no longer condemned because we are justified. John 8 speaks of a woman caught in the act of adultery. After her accusers left, Jesus asked this woman: "'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin'" (John 8:10-11). In Luke 18 we see a terrible sinner, a publican, coming to the temple: "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner'" (Luke 18:13). In the Greek it is, "God, be propitiated with reference to me, the sinner," that is, on the basis of the sprinkled blood on the mercy seat. This publican understood something about propitiation. We read that he went home justified, while the Pharisee went home condemned.
Our Need for Propitiation
We need God's propitiation for our sins. How can we receive it? Consider the following truths:
We are sinners: "For there is no difference; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
God's wrath is resting upon us: "For the wrath of God is being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18).
The wages of sin is death; therefore, we must die.
Being sinners, we cannot initiate or effect propitiation ourselves. We cannot bring a chicken or a cigarette or some flowers to God and expect him to turn away his wrath and be gracious to us. As sinners, all we do is sinful; therefore, we cannot propitiate our sins.
We need a substitute, a kinsman-redeemer, an advocate, a mediator who is able to propitiate in behalf of us.
God has displayed Jesus Christ publicly as our propitiation, our sacrifice of atonement, on the cross. Paul says, "But now a righteousness of God, apart from law, has been made known" (Rom. 3:21).
Believe on him. David said, "I have sinned," and God said, "Your sin has been taken away. You will not die." Our job is to confess and God's gracious job is to remove the guilt of our sin. When we believe on him, God's wrath disappears, and we are saved. We shall not die but we shall live forever in God's presence.
But what if we do not believe in Jesus Christ? As we already said, the cross demonstrates that God must punish to the fullest extent anyone who refuses to trust in Jesus. John writes, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (John 3:36). Those who do not trust in Christ must find their own atonement, which is impossible to do. Propitiation is found only in Jesus Christ.
This is not mythology or false threatening. John writes, "Once more Jesus said to them, 'I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.' This made the Jews ask, 'Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, "Where I go, you cannot come"?' But he continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins'" (John 8:21-24).
God must deal with those who do not trust in his Son. Paul writes, "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed" (2 Thess. 1:6-10).
Thank God that he regenerated us and gave us the gift of repentance and faith! God enabled us to lift up our empty beggar-hands to receive this great salvation, this eternal life, as a free gift. And if you are still outside of Christ, I beseech you to ask, "What must I do to be saved?" The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." Christ opened up the way to the Father, and now we can come with confidence, with full assurance, that he will receive us.
1 Leon Morris, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1965), 212.
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Copyright © 2008, P. G. Mathew
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