“Now ‘If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?'”
Now ‘If the righteous one is scarcely saved
This verse is an allusion to the Old Testament Greek rendering of Proverbs 11:31.
The “if” assumes reality in Greek: it is true that Christians have difficulty in being saved because they have a tough time coming to grips with grace. The gospel itself is not difficult, but it is challenging to come to grips with salvation by grace, and not by self-effort. Faith in Christ is non-meritorious, and most people have a tough time dropping their works orientation to salvation.
The “righteous one” is not a particular class of spiritual Christians. The “righteous one” here is the one who has received imputed righteousness from God; the idea is a justified one, that is, one who has been declared righteous in God’s eyes. Our eternal standing before God does not rest in the righteousness of our own. We stand in righteousness given to us by Christ (1 Co 1:30; 2 Co 5:21). Saved people are right with God.
“Scarcely” means with difficulty, hardly. “Righteous one” is a term for Christians. It is challenging for people to become Christians. Saving sinners is no mean task, and the difficulty is that it took Jesus to the cross; we had no part in saving our souls. The reason Jesus went to the cross is that men are totally depraved. There is no way we can come to Christ by our own merit. On a scale of extent, we barely became Christians. It takes the act of God to save us, that is, an act of grace.
The word “saved” means to receive salvation. We cannot earn salvation; it must be given to us.
Christians go to heaven only by the work of God himself by sending Christ to die for our sins.
It takes the work of God to save us. We go to heaven solely by the work of Christ. We cannot save ourselves. No merit or human effort makes any impression upon God. Not one of us has any righteousness before God.
Ro 3:10-12, “As it is written:
‘There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.'”
To become a Christian, we have to stop working for salvation and accept the work of Christ for our salvation.
Ro 4:5, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”
Have you come to the place where you reject your own merit for salvation and rest solely on the payment Jesus made on the cross for your sins? Why not make that decision today? How to Become a Christian