Below are some excerpts from a new book called, Our Identity, by Dr. Henry W. Wright. The teaching on Our Identity was developed many years ago and was one of Dr. Wright’s most important messages. He wanted everyone to know who they are in God because he believed that finding our identity was paramount to being an overcomer. Without understanding our identity, we don’t know who we are fighting or what the battleground is. This is the Journey of Sanctification.
Dr. Wright wanted people to know who they are and where they came from, so they would know where they are going. When people see the big picture, they begin to understand that they truly belong to God. Situations in our lives come and go, but a sense of belonging and identity can only come from God.
What Are We Going to do With Sin?
Everyone has something in their lives that does not line up with the Word of God. We all know it. We do not want to serve sin, but when we follow after thoughts of temptation that contradict the Word of God, we are in bondage to the law of sin. Have any of us, as Christians, ever found ourselves doing something evil, hated it, and could not stop ourselves? Or are we just in denial about an issue? We need to stop denying the sin issues in our lives.
The issue is not sin. The issue is what are we going to do with it? I look at spiritual defects this way: I do not judge people based on their defects. I want to know what they are going to do with the defect. What are we going to do with sins in our lives? Are we going to hide them? Are we going to pretend they do not exist? Are we going to create a church who pretends there is no evil in the Church? What are we going to do with it?
As I studied Scripture, I came to understand a concept concerning our journey of identity. It is a grammar term known as present progressive (an ongoing, current action). If we go to 2 Corinthians 5:17, we will find an example of present progressive in Scripture.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
At the end of the verse, it says, “behold, all things are become new”. If we are paying attention, this phrase may seem awkward and an improper use of the English language. However, it does not say that all things have become new as a past tense event. It says that all things are becoming new—this is an example of present progressive. We are progressing in the present toward an end. We are growing and being formed.
Most of our journey as believers is present progressive. What is faith? Present progressive. Are we working out our salvation daily? That is present progressive. Are we all that we believe we should be in the new birth or are we being reformed by God? It is a present progressive process. Are all the promises of God ours in the present or are we trusting God that they will come to pass in the future? Are we walking in all of them yet? Why not? Because we are living in a present progressive state. Have we achieved all the blessings of God in our lives? Have we seen all the healing, deliverance, and fulfillment of promises yet? No. But, what are we doing? We are in the present progressive process of appropriating them to our lives.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12 KJV
God’s Nature in Us
We are in the process of being sanctified. In the areas where we have been sanctified by God, that righteousness has become part of our nature—providing we are not just a hearer of the Word, but a doer as well. God’s glory in us is His nature manifested in us as a way of life. Who we are, in the choices we make, reflects His nature according to the Word of God. Essentially, the way we are is the way He is. And together, we are one in thought, deed, and action. Remember the Scripture that says we are changed “from glory to glory”? From unrighteousness to righteousness, we are being changed.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
Our identity is to be an extension of the living God, and the living God is not evil. The living God is known by His character or nature. I am holding out for people that the Holy Spirit will perfect them in their generation. To understand ourselves, we must look at the characteristics of the living God. These characteristics are known as the fruit of the Holy Spirit and reflect Father God’s nature.
²²But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, ²³Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
The Journey of Sanctification
The point of sanctification is not to be changed because I am being forced into it. I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to change me because I am afraid the alternative is hell. I am not doing it because I am afraid of God. I want to be like my Father. I want my nature to be transformed because I want to be exactly what He created me to be—not in order to conform to a religious image made up by someone else. I believe the purpose of ministry is to strip away the expectations of others, including a husband, wife, parents, or friends, and present a person back to Father God. I want to let them be exactly what He wanted them to be from the foundation of the world. This requires that I confront these expectations with the Word of God. If they have been told they are unlovable by humans, and Scripture says the opposite—they must decide whom to believe. Their decision requires repenting to Father God for believing these lies and returning to what He has said about them. That is how I think. I, myself, am in the process of walking in what He planned for me from the foundation of the world according to the Scriptures of the Bible.
What is Our Identity?
For us to be what Father God has said we are, we must be willing to conform to His Word. Sanctification has to begin for vessels of honor to be perfected.
²⁰Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? ²¹Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? Romans 9:20-21 KJV
Do we want to be a vessel of honor? Do we want to be a split personality–half representing the devil and half representing God? Do we want to be full of truth or full of divination? Do we want to be full of love or full of hate? Do we want to be full of forgiveness or full of bitterness? Do we want to be full of strife or full of peacemaking? Who do we want to be? Do we want to be somebody who builds up others or tears them down? Do we want to be somebody who edifies or somebody who does not? Who are we going to be?
So, what is our identity?
These are excerpts from Our Identity, by Dr. Henry W. Wright. The first chapter is called “The Journey of Sanctification.” This is a previously unpublished book, now available in our Resource Store.
Bonus! Free Printable Poster “The Journey of Sanctification”