Too often these days, people are getting comfortable with good in the place of godly. Take the marriage institution for example, many believers are marrying outside of the faith and hiding under the fact that “he’s a good man” or “she’s a good woman”. “He gives to the needy and is very principled”, “although she does not believe in God, she obeys the 10 commandments”; too quickly, we forget that these aren’t the requirements for eternal life. The criterium for eternal life is to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9-10).
Though our good works matter, they can’t save us. If they could, then there’d have been no need for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:21 AMP). But because that can’t save us, there came a need to be godly- having the character of God enabled in us by the Holy Spirit given to us when believe Jesus as Lord- to attain salvation.
Many if not all atheists and other unbelievers feel like for some reason, they’re better than Christians because they do more good deeds but reverse is the case. This is not to cheer on Christians who are selfish in their Christianity by only caring about themselves and refusing to reciprocate the kind heart Jesus has towards us. Rather, this is to further back the motive that goodliness cannot replace godliness. Here’s why. In Matthew 7:22-23 KJV Jesus was describing some people who on the last day would declare the good deeds they had done like casting out demons and even prophesying but He would tell them to depart from Him because He has never known them, though they had been goodly they had not been godly. This means that even a Christian can be all about good deeds rather than godly deeds how much more those who never believed?
This is why it’s not enough for you to live life based on “I do good things”. It is important that you know God for yourself. It is important for you to choose a godly life style. The righteousness, the good deeds and every other upright behavior of the ungodly man is like a filthy rag before the Lord. Even as believers, our righteousness was as a filthy rag before God prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection but ever since, we have not only received righteousness as a gift, we are also the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus so, our good deeds are acceptable unto Him (Isaiah 64:6 NLT; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:7 AMP&NLT; Romans 3:22). The lie that devil is selling to you that you don’t really need to believe God, just do good things and you’d be rewarded with eternal life, is simply what it is, a lie (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Again, people always ask “why do bad things happen to good people?” or sometimes a person dies and people say “but he/ she was good person”. As emphatically expressed in this post, good does not equal godly. A person may be good but if he is not godly, bad things will certainly happen. [The righteous are also afflicted in many ways but our confidence comes from the fact that we would be delivered from them all. Unfortunately, those who are yet to be saved don’t have that privilege (Psalms 34:19)]. The devil is not anyone’s friend. Be you a good or a bad person. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT. Notice that scripture says “someone” not “someone bad” or “someone who doesn’t do good things”. Satan doesn’t care about your good nature, he’s out to attack everyone and anyone so your goodliness can’t save you, your godliness will. When you dwell instead, in the secret place of the Most High you surely abide under God’s shadow in Christ Jesus, far above the reach of the enemy; this is something that you cannot obtain without godliness. (Psalms 91; Ephesians 1:20-23; 2:6)
It’s not enough for you to be a good person, you have to be a God-person too. Good deeds and the nature of God are natural outcomes of following Christ, that is if you let the transformation that comes with believing, work in you. Godliness is all encompassing; essentially, you cannot be truly godly without being good because God is good. Choose the God-nature over the good-nature because bad things happen to good people and they may have no way to avoid or rectify it but godly people are kept by God hence kept from evil.