April 16, 2018

Topic Day|Imputation

Related in Adam, Reborn in Christ

Romans 5:12–18

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Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men1 because all sinned—13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass2 led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness3 leads to justification and life for all men.


[1] 5:12 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women; also twice in verse 18
[2] 5:18 Or the trespass of one
[3] 5:18 Or the act of righteousness of one

Related in Adam, Reborn in Christ

Bio | Kirby Wagner

In fourth grade, my self-introduction would have gone something like this:

"Hi, y'all. My name is Kirby Wagner. I have three brothers and two sisters, a dog, and two parents. I am related to all of you, Jesus, David, Noah, Hannah Montana, Adam, and Eve. I like to play outside, read, and jump on the trampoline with my sister Landry (hi, Landry)."

Read on to discover how I was right . . . and where I was taking some creative liberty.

Central Truth

We are condemned in Adam, but redeemed in Christ. Judged because of the former. Justified through the latter. 

Devotional | Imputation

I used to tell classmates that I was related to Noah from the Bible. It was a fun fact to share when my classmates were related to Abraham Lincoln. I also told my friends we were related because somewhere down...

I used to tell classmates that I was related to Noah from the Bible. It was a fun fact to share when my classmates were related to Abraham Lincoln. I also told my friends we were related because somewhere down the line, we shared great-grandparents in Adam and Eve. It's funny that my poor genealogy (study of family history) was actually good theology (study of God and religious belief). Even though I wasn't related to my BFF, we shared a covenantal father in the person of Adam.

Through Adam, I have inherited guilt and deserve death. Before you get all mad at Adam, I want you to think about what you would've done in the Garden when Satan himself was talking to you. If you think you might've chosen differently, while I commend your optimism, I also challenge your confidence. Unfortunately, I think that, with or without the hiss of the enemy, the "God-fruit" would've eventually (if not immediately) enticed me.

If it seems unjust to be counted guilty because of the actions of one man, I want you to consider the justice of one man bearing the consequence (read: WRATH OF GOD, Romans 3:24-25) for your sin and everyone else's. That is exactly what Jesus did. In the same way we are descendants of Adam, we all have the opportunity to be reborn in Christ (Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

The Bible says that we all are sinners by nature and by deed. We are sinners because of Adam and because we choose to sin. The Good News is that Jesus chose, too. He chose the cross. Where Adam's choice led to the condemnation of all men, Jesus' choice leads to freedom from the bondage of sin, blessing on this side of heaven, an eternity spent on the other, and the ultimate complete restoration of the earth to a new earth.

This is imputation in the Bible: Adam's original sin to the human race, the sin of the human race to Christ on the cross, and divine righteousness to all who trust in Christ for salvation.

So before you curse Adam (and Eve) for burdening you with a sinful nature and death, remember how Christ's obedience to death (Philippians 2:8) counts for you as well. Turn your curse into humility and gratitude.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you realized your guilt and identified your need for Christ? 

2. Have you taken ownership for your sin before God? Before others? Seek reconciliation today. 

3. How can you imitate the humility of Christ and the love of God in your life today? 

4. Do you believe that Jesus' death on the cross was enough to cover your past and present sins? 

5. Reread Romans 5:5-8. Do you believe you are loved by God? 

13 Comments available

corey holbert 11 months ago

Very powerful and very thankful to have read this. Thanks for challenging me to realize my guilt and to take ownership of my sin so I can really see who I am and continue to seek help in the right way! God bless!

Lucy Brungart 11 months ago

Wow. Great job, Kirby! Keep up the good work, with those little kiddos, who are favored in the kingdom. Excellent!

Todd Wagner 11 months ago

So glad we are related Kirbs! Proud of you and challenged and spurred on by you. May many more brothers and sisters join us in the family of grace as we live, lead and laugh together.

I’ve you…IGYMYK

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago

Hey Kirby! I’m so glad you came back to Dallas and Watermark after college. OUTSTANDING devo today! I love how you balance the perception of unfairness over Adam’s sin infecting all of us, with the far, far greater true unfairness of Jesus taking ALL the sin of ALL people for ALL time onto Himself!

greg jones 11 months ago

First thought: a devotional in can relate to. Other thoughts. It seems to me when I consider all things revealed to me that not only do we have a spiritual genealogy but that their is a formula behind the genealogical line. The line of Adam has its dominate traits. These traits reign until the traits of Christ are introduced into the line. Unlike the physical genealogical traits that are passed from generation to generation the spiritual traits are a part of a rebirth. The spiritual heredity is passed on through death into a life. The physical heredities are passed on from life to life and extend on through death. As a child of God I’m not a part of a breed, I am like a only son. That relationship I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

For imputation, I like Psalm 144. Similar to Psalm 8, it asks ‘what is man that you should be so mindful of him’, except using an image of Adam it uses David. And the first half is the rescue of David. And it shares some language of Ps 18 where God comes down to join the battle. Focus is one man David. The second half is blessing for the country and the people of all sort.

And so with Jesus. Jesus came down at His incarnation. The spirit came down at His baptism ‘to join the battle’ as it were and in his death and resurrection/rescue, the redeemed are blessed and someday the whole creation with them, a picture of redemption for all through one man painted with David’s life.

Just as Jesus is a ‘second Adam’ in a sense Jesus is a ‘second David’ Ezekiel 34:23

Kristi Lichtenberg 11 months ago

Thank you for the devo, Kirby! These things blow my mind:

God knew ahead of time that we would sin and that Jesus’ sacrifice would be needed. He chose to create us in spite of that. He loves us and forgives us even though He knows that we will continue to fail. I don’t think I would enter into a relationship if I knew that a person would greatly betray me over and over, yet that is exactly what Christ does for me. This puts suffering, forgiving others, and my relationship with Christ in another dimension. I much prefer to think of myself as “precious in His sight” than as an unfaithful prostituting wife, but in fact, I am both. This is truly the Best of Both Worlds: completely forgiven and eternally clean.

Arnie Knecht 11 months ago

Kirby, you are blessed … and a blessing. So well done!

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

In Adam, all sinned and affected mankind and pulled down creation as well. That’s depicted in the book of Zephaniah where all men and the creation are swept away… all men… all beasts… all birds… all fish… An unraveling. All creation groaning as it were. (creation life listed in reverse order of creation and same order given in Ps 8 where all things are put under the second Adam’s feet) … no one can redeem themselves at the beginning of the book except God. By the end there is a resolution as the lame and outcast are redeemed and loudly sung over by the redeemer who quiets them in His love

Blake Holmes 11 months ago

EXCELLENT devo, Kirby! Thank you for such a good reminder this morning!

Lindsey Driscoll 11 months ago

Kirby, thank you for your devo today. Glad to have you as a sister in the body of Christ. Q3- Imitating humility can be acknowledging 5:12, that death came to all and all have sinned. So many we interact with daily are struggling in sin or consequences of it. Praying we share the truth that the grace of Christ covers all sins 5:15, and that lifecwith him is an abundant provision of grace 5:18.

Hope Harris 11 months ago

Thanks for the lineage lesson today Kirby!

I am reminded of this verse today:

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5)

So glad that to be part of God’s family and call many of you brothers and sisters

Hugh Stephenson 11 months ago

GM Kirby! Well done! In the deep south we love our lineage. I don’t love being a descendant of Adam but I am thankful for GGF Noah.

My math:

Adam + sin = Death. Jesus + sacrifice = Life.

Being a math guy I see that these equations balance. But actually… in God’s math, they don’t.

Four times Paul cites the “free gift”. He uses perfect logic and masterfully connects the words - “Therefore…so…because…so…but…yet…But…for…and…for…but…For…

The key phrase for me is in the last verse - “Much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life”.

So…God’s math is:

Jesus + sacrifice = life + abundance of grace + free gift of righteousness + reign in life.

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