Dr. Jason DeRouchie provided yet another post at Desiring God on the concept of love. You can read part of the post here and follow the link at the bottom to read the post in its entirety at the Desiring God website.
How is love generated in our lives? The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 1:5, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Love Overflows from a Pure Heart
From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). “Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). The heart is the factory of our soul that generates all desire, thought, emotion, and action. Our heart determines our identity, and that is why in order to become a believer we need a new heart and new spiritual influences upon it (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
Paul gets specific in this text. He says that love will flow out of a pureheart –– that is, a heart that has been cleansed; one that has no defilement. Wholehearted, life-encompassing love for God expressed in radical love for neighbor is only possible where sin is forgiven and offense is pardoned. God-honoring lovers are those who cherish Jesus –– who recognize their sin and cling to the cross, the only place where God’s wrath against sin is satisfied. May we say with Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” The pure heart is not haughty because it recognizes the depth of its own depravity apart from Christ. The pure heart empowers one to love even those who are most difficult to love because it has experienced the sin-overcoming love of God itself. In fact, if we are in Christ, our failure to love others is a sure sign that our heart is not relishing enough the wonder of our salvation. Love flows from a cleansed, purified heart.