Title:  Tied Up in "Nots"
Purpose:  To challenge Christians to put God first 

1.  When I was in scouts. learned how to tie knots.  (Ones that can be undone)
     a.  There is nothing more  irritating that a knot that cannot be undone.
     b.  Usually I have my wife undo knots, I am to impatient with them
2.  People around us are trying to undo "nots"
     a.  Did you know that the Bible speaks of "nots"
     b.  There are some nots in the Bible that cannot be undone
3.  Scriptures:
     a.  Hebrews 1:10-12
     b.  Matthew 24:35
     c.  Deuteronomy 4:2 (Repeated again in Rev. 22:18-19)
4.  We cannot untie or loose what God has tied or loosed:
I.  2 Nots Concerning Salvation:
       A.  Justified by works and not by Faith alone (James 2:24)
       B.  Saved by Faith ..... not as a result of works... (Eph 2:8-9)
       C.  Is this a contradiction?
              1.  James is talking about real faith, one that leads to action
              2.  Ephesians is talking about Works of merit (that would lead
                   you to boast)
              3.  Salvation is not possible without Jesus
              4.  You do not and cannot contribute to your own salvation
                     a.  Jesus paid the Debt for our sins, not us
                     b.  Rom 6:23 -
                     c.  Wages - What we have earned,/ Gift - What God gave
                     d.  God is not just when it comes to Christians, he is merciful
                     e.  I don't want to Get what I deserve, I don't want Justice
       D.  So God offers this gift of salvation and has told us how to accept it
              1.  Believe (Mark 16:16)
              2.  Repent (Acts 2:38)
              3.  Be Baptized (1 Peter 3:21)

II.  2 Nots Concerning the Christian Life
       A.  Romans 12:1-2 - Do not be conformed to this world
       1.  Says to be "transformed"
              a.  We are to go through a metamorphisis when we are converted
              b.  Look at the terms used:
                     1)  We are "born again"  (John 3)
                     2)  We are to be "converted" and become as children (
                     3)  We are baptized into death, we die to self (Rom 6)
                     4)  We become a "new person" (Col 3)
              c.  We break out of the mold and into a new one
       2.  What does that mean for you?
              a.  Time with God becomes all important (Prayer and Bible Study)
                     - Regular time to pray to God
                     - Regular time to let God speak to you (Bible Study)
              b.  Money goes very low on your list of priorities
                     - 2 Cor 5:9 "we have as our ambition, whether at home or
                        absent to be pleasing to Him"
                     - Ambitious business owner becomes an ambitious worshipper
                     - Ambitious employee goes from workaholic to servaholic
                     - Ambition is to PLEASE GOD
              c.  WHAT IS YOUR AMBITION?

       B.  Matthew 7:21 - Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord
              1.  Claiming to be a Christian is not enough
              2.  Doing Good works in the Name of Jesus is not enough
MANY will say to me on that day...
              4.  I am afraid there may be those here today that may be in
                    this boat
              5.  Is God first in your life?
                     a.  When you went through your metamorphosis,
                           what changed?
                     b.  Does your job keep you away from worshipping with
                           the Saints?
                     c.  Consider this "NOT":  (Heb 10:25)
                     d.  Where will you be next Sunday?  Here or working?       
                     e.  Are you really transformed, or conformed
              6.  ILL:  What if you treated your marriage the same way?
                     a.  Stacey Stacey, I have done all these neat things for you
                     b.  Yet I don't come home when I should, I date other
                           people, etc.
                     c.  She will say "depart from me"

1.  Have you tied the knot?
2.  If you are not a Christian, it's time to die - to self and be born again
3.  If you are a Christian, have you been transformed?
    a.  Is God first in your life?  Really is he?
    b.  Are you a new Creature?  What is your ambition in life?