Can a person who is an atheist or from another religion live a moral life? Yes. Yes they can. But the Bible wants from us something much more than a moral life. And it’s something that only a true Christian can do.
You might say that someone can live a moral life and not be a Christian. But, notice that we’re talking about more than living a moral life. Rather, this is about living a godly life. Consider this: nowhere in scripture are we admonished to live a moral life. Definitions of morality are fluid. But not so regarding a godly life. Scripture doesn’t say to live morally. It says to be godly. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (II Timothy 3:12).
No one is persecuted for being moral. Morality is well and good. But godliness is more. Paul touched on this difference when he said to Titus, “To deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). Godliness emphasizes a relationship with the Creator and the empowering of the Holy Spirit to lead a life beyond simple morals. Have you ever heard someone claim they lead a moral life then go on to loosely quote a sentence or two from the Ten Commandments? They quote the later commands about not murdering or fornicating, or stealing, or lying, perhaps even the tenth about coveting. But no one claims the earlier commands about worshipping God only, keeping the sabbath and so on. And that’s the difference between morality and godliness. Morality is something you do—it’s works oriented. Godly is something you are, through grace by faith.
Do you want to be moral or godly?
“All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (II Timothy 3:12).
It’s a good thing to live a moral life, but a godly life is much better. Take a look at your own morals and how you live? How does living rightly impact your witness for Christ among others? Ask God to help you graduate from mere morals to true godliness, then go out and pursue that very thing.