We are all by nature so weak, so worldly, so earthly-minded, so inclined to sin, that without a thorough change we cannot serve God in life, and could not enjoy Him after death. Just as ducks, as soon as they are hatched, take naturally to water, so do children, as soon as they can do anything, take to selfishness, lying, and deceit; and none pray or love God, unless they are taught. High or low, rich or poor, gentle or simple, we all need a complete change—a change which is the special office of the Holy Ghost to give us. Call it what you please—new birth, regeneration, renewal, new creation, quickening, repentance—the thing must be had if we are to be saved: and if we have the thing it will be seen.
~ J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion, “Self-Inquiry”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 10, 11.