What fruit then had ye at that time in the things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. ~ Romans 6:21
Sin and the shame it brings, either in this life or the next, are seldom mentioned today. Men-pleasers would rather speak flowery words and tickle ears than prick consciences and smite hearts. There were men, not so very long ago, who did NOT shrink back from preaching on sin and its shame. Here is commentary from Gill and M. Henry on the text at the head of this post...
What fruit had ye then in those things?.... That is, what profit, pleasure, satisfaction, or comfort, had ye in the commission of sin? Sin yields no real profit to the servants of it. If a man, by sinful practices, could amass together the riches of the Indies, or gain the whole world, yet if his soul is lost thereby, what advantage would it be to him? he would be infinitely the loser by it; nor would all his wealth and riches profit him in the day of God's wrath and righteous judgment: nor is there any true pleasure in sin; persons may imagine within themselves they enjoy a real pleasure whilst they are serving divers lusts; but this is but imaginary, it is not real; and this imaginary pleasure is but for a season; it issues in bitterness and death: nor is there any satisfaction in it; when men have endeavoured to gratify their carnal lusts and sensual appetites in every way that can be devised, they still remain as they were; nor can they reflect with real satisfaction, and without some slinging remorse, upon the methods they have pursued to gain it: nor is there any true honour in sin, nothing but what is scandalous and disgraceful to human nature; shame, sooner or later, is the fruit of sin. ~ John Gill
“What fruit had you then? Did you ever get any thing by it? Sit down, and cast up the account, reckon your gains, what fruit had you then?” Besides the future losses, which are infinitely great, the very present gains of sin are not worth mentioning. What fruit? Nothing that deserves the name of fruit. The present pleasure and profit of sin do not deserve to be called fruit; they are but chaff, ploughing iniquity, sowing vanity, and reaping the same. ~ Matthew Henry
whereof ye are now ashamed; some men may be indeed for the present so hardened as not to blush and be ashamed at the commission of the vilest sins; such are they who have no sense of sin, have no fear of God, or regard to men; and so sin openly, and without any guise, glory in it, and make their boast of it: but when persons are wrought upon by the Spirit of God, they are ashamed of sin; which might be exemplified in the case of Adam and Eve, of Ephraim, of the prodigal son, and of the poor publican; the reason is, because light is struck into their hearts; and this makes manifest the odious and detestable nature of sin; sin is hereby seen in its own proper colours, as exceeding sinful, loathsome, and abominable: besides, the grace and goodness of God are discovered in the forgiveness of it; and the glory of God's purity and holiness, and the beauty and loveliness of Christ, are discerned by such persons; all which have a tendency to make them ashamed of sin, out of love with it, and to abhor it: and a good thing it is to be brought to be ashamed of sin here; for such who are not ashamed of it here, shall be brought to everlasting shame and confusion hereafter. Nay, this is not all; not only shame will be the fruit of sin, but it will also issue in death. ~ John Gill
It is an unbecoming service; it is that of which we are now ashamed - ashamed of the folly, ashamed of the filth, of it. Shame came into the world with sin, and is still the certain product of it - either the shame of repentance, or, if not that, eternal shame and contempt. Who would wilfully do that which sooner or later he is sure to be ashamed of? ~ Matthew Henry
I also want to share this from Thomas Watson and his 'doctrine of
"Is shame an ingredient of repentance? If so, how far are they from being penitents who have no shame? Many have sinned away shame; 'the unjust knoweth no shame', Zeph. 3:5. It is a great shame not to be ashamed. The Lord sets it as a brand upon the Jews, "were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush', Jer. 6:15. The devil has stolen shame from men. When one of the persecutors in Queen Mary's time was upbraided with his bloodiness to the martyrs, he replied, 'I see nothing to be ashamed of.' When men have hearts of stone and foreheads of brass, it is a sign the devil has taken full possession of them. There is no creature capable of sin but man. The brute beasts are capable of fear and pain, but not shame; you cannot make a beast blush. Those who cannot blush for sin do too much resemble the beasts. There are some so far from this holy blushing that they are proud of their sins. Others are so far from being ashamed of sin that they glory in their sins; 'whose glory is in their shame', Phil. 3:19. They glory in that which is their shame, they look on sin as a piece of gallantry. The swearer thinks his speech most graceful when it is interlarded with oaths. The drunkard counts it a glory that he is mighty to drink, Is. 5:22. But when men shall be cast into a fiery furnace, heated seven times hotter by the breath of the Almighty, then let them boast of sin as they see cause.
O how many there are that love the forbidden fruit! They love their oaths and adulteries, they love the sin and hate the reproof. Solomon speaks of a generation of men; 'madness is in their heart while they live', Ecc. 9:3. So for men to love sin, to hug that which will be their death, to sport with damnation, proves 'madness is in their heart'.
That sin is worse than affliction is evident because the greatest judgment God lays up on a man in this life is to let him sin without control. When the Lord's displeasure is most severely kindled against a person, He does not say, I will bring the sword and the plague upon this man; but 'I will let him sin on'. "So I gave them up unto their own heart's lusts" , Ps. 81:12. Now, if the giving up of a man to his sins is the most dreadful evil, then sin is far worse than affliction. And if it be so, then how it should be hated by us!" ~ Thomas Watson
O ye that love the LORD, hate evil: He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked - Psalm 97:10