I could try to imitate Jesus Christ for the rest of my life. But even the most rigid conformity to Christ-like behavior wouldn’t place me in his spiritual bloodline. I am who I am by birth, not by behavior. Realizing that it’s all about birth, not behavior, is illuminating. It brings new meaning to that often misused and even abused term ‘born again.’ This phrase is so frequently uttered that many have lost sight of its true meaning; however, in light of our spiritual bloodline at birth, we can understand why Jesus used the term. Jesus told Nicodemus that each human being’s real need is to be born a second time. He wasn’t urging the Jewish leader to turn over a new leaf, to try harder, or to polish his lifestyle. Instead, he was addressing the heart of the matter, namely, birth. While some regard Christianity as a behavior improvement program dressed up in religious clothing, Jesus revealed that God’s plan was actually an exchange of nature.
(from “The Naked Gospel”)