The Christian life is not simply to try to stop doing bad things that anger God and to try to start doing good things that please him. I easily slip back into thinking this way but the gospel is something different — the gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
My goal then is to hear and believe the gospel — to receive Christ — to be united with Him, and to glory in his righteousness. My goal is to fix my eyes on the One who has been lifted up like the bronze serpent. As I look to him the poison in my veins is remedied.
My goal is never to look inward at myself (my failures, my good works) but always outward to Jesus. (In other words I am to be other-centred as he is other-centred. Never self-centred.)
Once the branch has been grafted onto the True Vine the branch can, and will, bear fruit, but not before. Independent of the Vine the branch has no life. None whatsoever.
So to be a Christian — to live the Christian life — is first and foremost to be found in Christ.