Summary: Jesus has a lot of competition out there, so true believers must chose to focus on Jesus, not additons or alternatives.
Jesus: Exclusive and Complete
1. Let me tell you about our Christmas experiences....
2. Great to be back home in Kokomo, Indiana!
3. That first Christmas, Joseph and Mary had to be away from home, and would not return for probably two or three years...
4. Yet fewer Americans really know the Christmas story; knowing about Jesus has lost the rating game.
5. This is especially sad when professing believers also know so little. Too many alternatives.
Main Idea: Jesus has a lot of competition out there, so true believers must chose to focus on Jesus, not additons or alternatives.
I. Alternatives May Be ENTICING, But We Must Choose JESUS (8)
A. We Must Be On GUARD
1. The picture is allowing oneself to be kidnapped; high alert
• Samson was unguarded around Delilah, the enemy
• We have too high opinions of ourselves and our personal willpower/strength
2. False teachers or manipulators are out to win you to their way of thinking
3. Some Christian do not take the fact that a spiritual warfare is going on seriously; they do not know their enemies from their friends…
4. At other times, our decent interests can become idolatry – God neglected/not first
B. We Must Realize We Can Be DECEIVED
[Paul Apple compares this to the sirens of Greek mythology.] According to Wikipedia, “In Greek mythology, the Sirens... were dangerous and beautiful creatures, portrayed as femme fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.
1. Philosophy (love of wisdom) does not mean we should not read philosophers or seek the deeper meaning of life; it is, rather, that the Scriptures reign supreme over men’s thoughts and measure truth…
can include Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (as we think of the word), but in Paul's day the word was less specialized and referred to any value system or way of thinking that runs against the teachings of God's Word, often based on speculation.
2. In our day, it can be accepting fiction as reality…
• ghost hunting
• mix and match religions
3. The Quest to be anchored in past tradition
“according to the tradition of men”
• the draw of antiquity [old errors are still errors]
• the draw of systematization
• the dignity of heritage
Judaism has become less a religion of the Bible and more a religion of tradition
Some people nowadays crave something that feels ancient...medievalism, gothic, druidism, Greek gods
After an aura, an atmosphere, a motif – something “cool”
We can take advantage of that: Biblical Christianity goes back to ancient Judaism...the beginning
3. Following the Organized Leadership of the World system
People want to line-up underneath the trends and will defer to the group...
Illustration: People who will give a reasonable answer individually will follow what others say if in a group...they will give the wrong answer to a question if everyone else does…
C. We Must Keep Returning to JESUS As Our Focus
Jesus as God incarnate, having atoned for our sin and risen is the heart of our faith...
This is what sets us apart...
II. Jesus is More Than ENOUGH (9-10)
A. When We Have Jesus, We Have God in His FULLNESS
1. From the moment of the incarnation, fully God, fully man
2. Nothing can trump God; nothing can improve upon him
3. No spiritual relationship can be greater or deeper
4. The One God is only incarnate in Jesus Christ, no one else! (all fullness is dwelling)
5. Mormonism, Eastern Religions, mix and match religions
B. When We Have Jesus, We Are COMPLETE
• “and in Him you have been made complete”
• you do not need a supplement from other religions
• you do not need religious experience after experience
• the Colossians were apparently told, “Yes, Jesus is great. But there is something more!”
• Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 13, "My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
• Author Peter Kreeft tells the story of a poor European family who saved for years to buy tickets to sail to America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey. After 3 days, the boy complained to his father, "I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don't eat anything else before we get to America, I'm going to die." Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship's galley and buy an ice-cream cone. When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked, "Where were you?" "In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!" "All that for a nickel?" "Oh, no, the food is free," the boy replied. "It comes with the ticket." [Our Daily Bread]