Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Tina Turner asked this question but she downplayed the significance of love; calling it a ‘second-hand emotion’ and a ‘sweet old-fashioned notion'. But for those who understand the true essence of love it means much more. What’s love got to do with it?


Tina Turner asked this question but for a different reason than what I’ll be focusing on today. In fact, in her song, she downplays the significance of love; calling it a ‘second-hand emotion’ and a ‘sweet old-fashioned notion'. She couldn’t be more wrong. However, she was right in one sense-the way love is so flippantly used in society it could be categorized as simply a second-hand emotion. But, for those of us who understand the true essence of love and its depth of meaning it means considerably more. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.

1) What’s love got to do with my salvation?

1st John 4:9-10, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

We didn’t love God and we didn’t know what love really was until God showed us what it looked like. John 3:16, God so loved the world…” The world is an enemy of God; the world does not love God. We can’t love God until we are born-again. Then, we have the spirit of God living in us enabling us to be able to love. God loved his enemies.

God loved those who didn’t love him. That is the most extreme sense of love and that’s who God is. But that’s not the case in other religions. Take for instance Islam. In the NIV the specific word, ‘love’ occurs over 500 times. In the Koran it occurs less than 100 times. And most of those times it’s referring to man’s love for things or man’s love for each other but not a lot about God’s love for man. And when it does refer to God’s love it only talks about God’s love for certain people-either those who do what’s right or those who love him.

Therefore, from the Koran's perspective, God is no better than man because that’s what we do. Luke 6:32, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.” But the reality is that’s not who God is. The Koran falls far short of capturing the true essence of God’s love.

God showed us pure love: unconditional, unwarranted, undeserved, unmatched. God showed selfless love in letting Jesus go from being at his side in the glory of heaven to come to earth; knowing what was going to happen to him-all for our benefit. Jesus showed us his unmatched love when he was willing to be tortured, face death and be spiritually separated from the Father so that we would be born-again and not have to face the spiritual death that he went through in paying the penalty for our sins.

God could not have shown a greater example of sacrificial love than sending his son as an atoning sacrifice for us. Jesus could not have shown a greater example of love than to die for us. If not for love there would not have been salvation. Salvation could not have been accomplished without love. What’s love got to do with salvation? Everything.

2) What’s love got to do with my relationship with God?

2nd Cor. 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Paul highlights that because of Jesus’ love in what he did for us there should be a response. If we understand the love behind Jesus’ sacrifice and we understand how that afforded us the opportunity to escape eternal destruction and current depravity then we will be compelled. It might take us a while to really fathom and grasp the depth of what Jesus did for us but we need to understand that what Jesus went through for us, his enemies, is something no one would ever have done for us (or could have done for us).

Therefore, our appreciation and gratitude for our rescue and adoption into the family of God should put a fire in us that drives and fuels us to do everything we can to please him. And it’s not merely out of a sense of duty or obligation. It’s not merely out of a fear of consequence if we don’t. Our devotion and obedience need to stem from our love for God because if it’s driven by any of the other things I mentioned it will no doubt be superficial and short-lived.

Jason Gray has a song titled, More Like Falling in Love. “Give me rules, I will break them. Show me lines, I will cross them. I need more than a truth to believe, I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes; to sweep me off my feet. It's gotta be more like falling in love, than something to believe in. More like losing my heart, than giving my allegiance. Caught up, called out; come take a look at me now. It's like I'm falling; it's like I'm falling in love.

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