“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.”
I Corinthians 14:25
In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, one thing he addressed was the problem in the Corinthian congregation having to do with the abuse of spiritual gifts. In particular, there was great confusion caused by languages being used that could not be understood by the people. In his teaching, Paul contrasted the gift of languages with the gift of prophecy. As he wrote of the superior benefits of prophecy, he said if an unbeliever came into the congregation and heard the Word of God being proclaimed, he would be convinced of truth.
Our text goes on to say that through preaching are “the secrets of his heart made manifest.” This is the miracle of how the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of truth to convict the sincere listener. Paul goes on to say that the convicted person would fall down on his face and “report that God is in you of a truth.” What a great truth this is for us to consider! It shouts to us about the power and importance of preaching. The convicted listener recognizes that God is in the midst of the prophets and teachers, as well as in the congregation.
What a contrast we see between this teaching and what is occurring in many of today’s churches. Rather than placing an emphasis on preaching, as the Bible does, many other things are being substituted for the convicting proclamation of the Word of God. Time for preaching is being deliberately reduced in favor of things like concerts, drama, teaching, etc. Preaching is being looked at as being old-fashioned. Many churches are reducing the number of preaching services in their schedule and limiting the time of those services.
However, it is through the preaching of His Word that God promises to manifest His Word and convict sinners. Nothing can make a person realize his need for Christ and salvation like the preaching of the Bible. Because of the spiritual value of preaching, all of us should strive to make the most of the messages presented by the man of God. We ought to appreciate preaching and respond to the truth that is proclaimed. Make it a matter of discipline to be attentive to the time of preaching and to anticipate hearing from God as His Word is declared. It is through the preaching that God often reveals Himself to us.