“you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (I Peter 1:23)
“Religion” teaches you how to become a good person by doing good works and rituals. Religious people try to change the sinful human heart into something good through human effort. These religions include, but are not limited to, Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and others.
The Bible teaches us that human effort is not good enough. A long list of rules and regulations will only make us arrogant (Luke 18:9-14), and do nothing to stop us from sinning in the heart (Colossians 2:20-23).
True heart change must come from God. This is the “imperishable seed” that Peter is talking about. It is given by God’s grace and power only, and it comes through the gospel message.