Put a pot of water over a hot camp fire long enough and it will boil. This is cause and effect. The boiling water "effect" was "caused" by the hot flame. It would be silly to say, "the flame is hot 'cause' the water is boiling."
That is the DANGER when it comes to understanding the Gospel - often, the emphasis is put on the effect instead of the cause.
Turning from sin and striving to "live right" is the effect of being born again - believing, trusting, and putting your faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. "Living right" is the effect of our salvation, not the cause. Salvation comes to those who believe. "Living right" doesn't save you - it is the result of being saved, being born again, being a new creature in Christ.