No, I'd say you're looking at it exactly the right way.
When we sin, we are in danger of punishment and of losing the Lord's help and blessings.
When we repent and do well, we are accepted.
Some people, it is true, become born of the Spirit (not confirmed, nor baptized with fire -- those are different things) to the extent that they no longer desire to do evil. I know I haven't got that far yet.
Jesus did say that he would reward us according to our works.