The affections of the non-elect and the affections of the elect are powerfully pitted against each other in the fourteenth chapter of Mark. The stage is set in Bethany and in Jerusalem during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The first scene, recorded in Mark 14:10-11, is bleak: “Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray Him.” Notice the reaction of the chief priests when Judas betrays Christ. Gladness: an emotion of delight, joy, and pleasure. The non-elect, bowing to the god of their own devices, are delivered up to their depravity and a desire for deleterious delights is birthed deep within their souls. When the spiny fingers of twisted affections creep up the soul, it is suffocated until it loses its breath, its life, and ultimately dies.
Peering into the window where Jesus reclines around the table with his disciples, celebrating the Passover, the scene turns solemn. Jesus informs his disciples that one of them is about to betray him—one who is eating with him! Can you hear the gasps echoing throughout the room? Scripture reads, “They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I?’” (Mk. 14:19). Notice the reaction of the elect. Sorrow: grief, affliction, anguish. The elect, consumed with a concern that their hearts would be hardened, ask in an incredulous tone whether this disdainful betrayal is buried deep within their own souls. When put to the test, a soul softened by the sweet Spirit of God shrinks in sorrow when its Savior is despised and rejected.
But lest we think the heart of the elect is surrounded in a shroud of continual purity, we are given warning in Ephesians to forsake the futility of our former thinking and allow the Holy Spirit to make us new, beginning with the attitudes of our minds. We aspire to the attitude and mind of our great God, for we were “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Failing and falling, but striving through surrendering to His Spirit.
And we adapt the affections of the elect. For our very soul must mourn any mockery man attempts to makes of God. And our soul delights that God cannot be mocked, for a man reaps what he sows (Gal. 6:7).