Each one of us who is born on this earth already accepted Christ as their savior before they were born. We breach our agreement with Christ to the extent that we do not continue to accept him in this life. Christ was faithful and kept his part of the covenant. Now it is up to us to keep our part of the deal and accept him in mortality.
Accepting Christ is a very personal matter and consists of more than just confessing that he is God. We must follow him. But how is this done? By seeking light and truth and by keeping his commandments.
We accept Christ to the extent that we seek and accept light and truth. Christ is the light of truth, and all things that motivate us to do good come from him. By seeking truth and goodness, we are seeking Christ. Consequently, many good non-Christian individuals may actually be accepting Christ more than some who simply proclaim that they are Christian but do not follow the Savior. Accordingly, we accept Christ by seeking and holding on to truth and goodness. If we continue to seek and accept light and truth, we will eventually be led to a sincere commitment to accept him as our Savior and to take up our cross and follow him, which then will lead to a fuller understanding of Christ and, in the hereafter, to a complete knowledge of all things.
We seek truth by being honest and by living in reality. If we earnestly seek truth, Christ will guide us to it and confirm that it is true when we learn of it. Truth will taste good to our souls. But we must be willing to accept it.
However, we generally hide from truth because it is too painful and it triggers our subconscious fears. This is because we all have emotional deficiencies created by being raised in a world where those we depended on for love were unable to fully satisfy all of our needs. These emotional black holes interfere with our ability to love and feel love from others. Hence, these holes hinder our ability to connect with others and with God, and we feel alone. This, then, creates the great challenge of life. How will we try to fill this emptiness?
As previously mentioned, the only way to fill the holes that were created by a lack of love is to turn to the essence of divinity that is in each of us and follow it. God is the only source to completely fill our emotional emptiness. But we must open ourselves up to God and invite Him into our lives in order for Him to fill our emptiness. Consequently, humility is the key to our happiness and salvation.
God created an environment where we have weaknesses to help us become humble so that He can bless us. Consequently, what we feel is an obstacle may actually be our stepping stone to reach heaven’s gate. We should not feel that life is unfair because of our upbringing or misfortune. Instead, we should look to God, and He will bless us. For example, many addicts turn their lives around after they are humbled when they hit bottom. Once we are humble, God can bless us. That is why twelve-step programs work. Individuals turn to God.
Once we feel God’s love working within us, we must nurture it so this new life within us does not die. Just as a babe in a mother’s womb needs constant nourishment to grow and develop, our new life in Christ also needs to be nourished so we can grow in him. We grow in Christ by following the spark of divinity in each of us as it directs us to know what is right and true. If we continue to follow the Lord’s inspiration, we reach a point when we need to totally commit to him in order to continue to grow, just as an infant must be born in order to continue to live and grow.
We must be born again spiritually. Many people mistakenly believe that they have been born again when they first feel the spirit of Christ working within them. This is the start of the process, just as conception is for the birth of a child, but it is not the complete process. We must allow the Spirit of God to grow within us until we are willing to completely submit to Him by abandoning the inappropriate things that we pursue to fill our own personal emotional vacuum and then evidence that commitment with a covenant.
This is the same pattern that was established by God before we were born. Love motivates us to make a commitment that is then confirmed by a covenant. Accordingly, the Lord established baptism as a means to confirm by covenant our commitment to fully submit ourselves to Him.
Baptism is an earthly symbol of the spiritual reality of being born again. The basic elements of water, blood (of Christ), and spirit (Holy Spirit) are present in being born again spiritually through baptism and are also associated with mortal birth. This ordinance points us to Christ. Just as Christ was crucified, lowered into the tomb, and then rose again as a resurrected being full of new life, so we offer our old sinful self as a sacrifice to be killed and buried under the water so that we can rise up out of the watery grave into a new life in Christ. Even being submerged in water helps us feel our sins being washed away. What a beautiful, perfect symbol to represent our conversion from an old way of life into a new life in God and to renew the covenant we each made with Christ before we were born: to accept him as our savior and to follow him.
If we trust God and are willing to submit to His will, even in the face of our own emotional challenges, and are willing to confirm that commitment through the baptismal covenant, then Christ will fill our emptiness with love and make us whole. He will bless us with his spirit to help us know his will and to bring peace to our souls. He will then liberate us from the gravity of the emotional black holes that pull us down.