Paul continues his comparison and differentiation between Adam and Jesus Christ in their effect on mankind. Adam brought sin and death to all mankind; Jesus brought forgiveness and life to all who believe in Him and receive His gift.But it is not just a change in circumstance which Jesus brought to mankind; it is a shift in the balance of power, a complete coup in which He has destroyed the power of death to reign over mankind. For not only was all of Adam’s race tainted with sin and living under the sentence of death, but our every action was under the tyrannical rule of death. All were afraid of death, yet knew we must die someday. Death was not only a future sentence, it was the day by day ruling authority over the lives of all men.
“But even greater is God’s wonderful grace, and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NLT
No longer is death the ruling power over mankind. Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death, and He now rules supreme over all. No longer do men have to cower helplessly under the rule of death; those who believe in Jesus Christ, accepting the free gift of the righteousness of God, which He purchased for us while we were still His enemies– those people will now live in triumph over both sin and death. Jesus gives us the power to live in triumph over both sin and death. We need no longer fear death, no longer anticipate the sentence of death which hung over our heads. Instead, we joyfully look forward to eternal life with Jesus Christ, who gives this gift of life and righteousness and authority to all who will believe in Him.