And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest.—Better, and the secrets of his heart are made manifest—such being the reading of the best MSS. It is the third result of the prophetic utterances explained in previous Note. His complete conversion is evidenced by his worshipping God and recognising the presence of God in that assembly of Christians: “He will confess that you are not mad, but that God is truly in you, and that He is the true God who is in you” (Bengel). It is to be noticed that though the Apostle speaks in this passage of an “unlearned” person (i.e., a private person, one who has no gift of prophecy or tongues), or an “unbeliever,” it is the latter that is most prominently before his mind, and the former only so far as he shared in common with the latter his ignorance and inability to understand.Acts 5:1, seq.); but perhaps it is better to understand this in a more general sense, as describing the proper and more common effect of truth, when it is applied by a man's own conscience. Such effects are often witnessed now; and such effects show the truth of religion; its adaptedness to people; the omniscience and the power of God; the design of the conscience, and its use in the conversion of sinners.
And so falling down on his face - The usual posture of worship or reverence in eastern countries. It was performed by sinking on the knees and hands, and then placing the face on the ground. This might be done publicly; or the apostle may mean to say that it would lead him to do it in private.
He will worship God - He will be converted, and become a Christian.
And report that God ... - Will become your friend, and an advocate for the Christian religion. An enemy will be turned to a friend. Doubtless this was often done. It is now often done. Paul's argument is, that they should so conduct their public devotions as that they should be adapted to produce this result.
secrets of his heart made manifest—He sees his own inner character opened out by the sword of the Spirit (Heb 4:12; Jas 1:23), the word of God, in the hand of him who prophesieth. Compare the same effect produced on Nebuchadnezzar (Da 2:30 and end of Da 2:47). No argument is stronger for the truth of religion than its manifestation of men to themselves in their true character. Hence hearers even now often think the preacher must have aimed his sermon particularly at them.
and so—convicted at last, judged, and manifested to himself. Compare the effect on the woman of Samaria produced by Jesus' unfolding of her character to herself (Joh 4:19, 29).
and report—to his friends at home, as the woman of Samaria did. Rather, as the Greek is, "He will worship God, announcing," that is, openly avowing then and there, "that God is in you of a truth," and by implication that the God who is in you is of a truth the God.
and so falling down on his face: either publicly before the whole congregation; or when retired, as one ashamed of his sins and errors, and not able to look either God, or good men, in the face; and being in an adoration posture; or however, being truly humbled before God under a sense of his iniquities,
he will worship God; pray unto him, and earnestly entreat he would be merciful to him a sinner, and blot out all his transgressions, and forgive him all his sins; and will ever after acknowledge him to be the true God, embrace his Gospel, submit to his ordinances, and attend his service:
and report: or "declare", freely and openly to the church, to all men, to the world, and to his company from whence he came, and to whom he belonged,
that God is in you of a truth: that the Spirit of God, who is truly God, and searches the deep things of God, and reveals them, and the deep things of men, and makes them manifest, is in the prophets and preachers, otherwise they would never be able to make manifest the secrets of the heart as they do; and that the presence of God is in the church, and the power of God goes along with the ministration of the word: hereby, now many valuable ends are answered, a sinner is converted, God is worshipped and glorified, credit is brought to religion, the church of Christ is spoken well of, and prophets or preachers are honoured; wherefore prophesying, seeing it is both for the edification of believers, and conversion of sinners, ought to be desired, and made use of before speaking with tongues.And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest] The nature of Christian prophecy is here plainly shewn. See note on 1 Corinthians 14:1. ‘And thus’ is omitted by most modern editors.
that God is in you of a truth] Literally, that God is really in you (or among you). This description of the effect of prophecy upon the unbeliever is in no way contrary to the assertion in 1 Corinthians 14:22. There the Apostle is speaking of a sign to attract the attention of the unbeliever; here his attention is already attracted. He has come to the Christian assembly, and is listening to the words spoken there in the name of Jesus Christ. Unless his conscience is ‘seared with a hot iron’ there will be no further need of signs to induce him to give his attention to what is spoken.1 Corinthians 14:25. Τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ, the secrets of his heart) all the inmost thoughts of the heathen’s heart, which has never experienced such feelings, and has now for the first time become acquainted with itself and makes confession concerning itself: for the unbeliever is here principally intended. The unlearned man is added by the way, on account of his case being not altogether dissimilar. Any one with the lowest degree of faith before entering an assembly of that kind knew, that God is truly in believers.—αὐτοῦ, of him) the unbelieving stranger.—φανερὰ γίνεται, are made manifest) Daniel 2:30 at the end.—οὕτω) so, at last.—πεσὼν, falling down) a public declaration on the part of those, who feel and experience in themselves the power of the word, is generally made too sparingly in our times.—ἀπαγγέλλων, declaring) spontaneously, clearly, expressly announcing this fact either in the Church, or even out of it elsewhere: comp. on this word, Greg. Paneg. § 123 cum Annot.—ὅτι, that) comp. Daniel 2:46-47. A most conclusive argument for the truth of religion, from the operations of God on godly men.—ὄντως, indeed) He will confess, that you are not mad, but that God is truly in you, and that He is the true God, who is in you.Verse 25. - The secrets of his heart. "The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,.., and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Falling down on his face. An Oriental. mode of showing humility and deep conviction (Isaiah 45:14; 1 Samuel 19:24). It does not furnish the shadow of an excuse for the encouragement of catalepsy by the mechanical excitement of revivalism. That God is in you of a truth. St. Paul is probably thinking both of Isaiah 45:14 and Zechariah 8:23, where similar phrases are used.
"Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray."
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