Wilson writes, "...without the new birth you cannot have the church...The new birth has a predicate, and that predicate is death - death to sin, death to self, death to striving ambition, and death to lordly pride." - AC, p78.
One rabbit trail meditation I have had on these ideas is the difficulty of shepherding those who are dying, literally dying, and their loved ones as they watch these brothers and sisters die. We all deal with the "why does this have to happen" as the body withers away often with much pain, always with much grief.
Jesus said that if we wanted to follow Him we had to take up our crosses, we had to die daily, we had to mortify the flesh, and follow Him. And so, as disciples, we seek to do so each day. But so much of what we do each day is practicing for the real game; the day we actually die. In that day, no matter how well we have fought the flesh, our pride, the devil, the world, we will find that we will really, really win the battle. But in order to win that battle, we will have to die.
And in that victorious death we will find ourselves following Christ, our bodies to the grave for now waiting to follow Him in the resurrection, and our spirits up and into His presence. It will be for us a day of victory and of rest.
Paul: "for me to live is Christ; and to die is gain."