Christianity is not about finding a better moral code or promoting a mere superficial lifestyle of doing good. It is a recognition that sin is not defined as bad behaviour (and therefore needs to be resolved or replaced by good behaviour), rather that sin is the building and focusing my life and identity on anything other than God. That even includes a religious or church-oriented focus. Sin can’t be eradicated by increasing your dosage of religion or church attendance.
Our spiritual condition is an equivalent of someone that has died from terminal cancer. Resuscitation won’t help them as it will only make them die again from the cancer. Religion is a bit like that – it acts like a weak and temporary resuscitation that does nothing to address the root cause of the problem. We need a new life with a new identity that comes from and is centred upon God. The bible term is “born again” – i.e. given new life, regenerated (not merely resuscitated).
What should you expect when you’ve been spiritually “born again”, “regenerated” or given this new identity in Christ?
because of our new hearts, worshiping God by imaging him well through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is exactly what we want to do in our innermost depths. Speaking of the Spirit-empowered regenerated desires of the heart Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Practically, this means that as we enjoy and delight in who God is, what he has done, and what he will do for us, our regenerated hearts share in the same desires of God. Subsequently, unlike religion, which is based on fear that forces people to do what they do not want to do, regeneration is based on love and God inviting new people to live new lives of worship, which is exactly what their new hearts want to do at the deepest level. The result is ever-growing, never-ending, ever-worshiping, passionate joy! – Driscoll & Breshears