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Identification: Paul Identifies with the Struggles of His Listeners

Romans 7:14–25

Paul identifies with the struggles of common men and women. He knows we all can feel trapped (Rom. 7:14); confused (7:15); eager to do what is right (7:18); unable to follow through (7:18); an inward war (7:21–23); and frustration (7:24). Good leaders do not seek to impress, but to identify.

The Law of Navigation: Paul Describes the Spirit-Filled Life

Romans 8:1–39

After declaring that the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death, Paul navigates the Spirit-filled life. He is the under-navigator, directing us to the Holy Spirit, the ultimate navigator.


This reveals the difference between Christian mentoring and the world’s mentoring. Christian mentors do not build a reliance on themselves, but point their protégés to God. The life Paul navigates is a life of liberty (Rom. 8:1–8), hope (8:9–15), and power (8:26–39). Observe how the Holy Spirit navigates life for us:


1. He intercedes and groans for us (Rom. 8:22232627).

2. He directs and testifies to us (John 16:13Acts 20:2223Rom. 8:14).

3. He empowers and anoints for service (Acts 1:8Rom. 8:28–371 John 2:27).

4. He searches and enables us to discern (Rom. 8:26271 Cor. 2:9–15).

5. He confirms and bears witness with us (Rom. 8:14–161 John 5:5–9).


The Law of Empowerment: Jesus Touches Hearts First

Matthew 11:28–30

Although Jesus puts His early disciples to work, He knows He has to touch their hearts before He asks for their hands. So He promises to give them rest.

The word “rest” refers to an inward holiday—not a cessation of activity, but a whole new energy and motive. Many of us are more active on vacation than at work; what changes is our reason for activity. We feel energized on vacation because we want to do certain things. Jesus describes a new relationship that changes us on the inside. Note what He promises to give us:

1. Rest: an inward rest, free from anxieties (v. 28)

2. Framework: a yoke, by which we are guided by a stronger partner (v. 29)

3. Gentle and humble leadership: an understanding leader who meets our needs (v. 29)

4. A manageable load: a system and workload that fits who we are (v. 30)

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