will set forth 6 spiritual benefits of Scripture memorization. A proper
assessment of these benefits begins with understanding the role of the written
word of God in our spiritual development. Jesus Christ openly stated that our
spiritual existence depends upon the word of God: “Man does not live on bread
alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) The
words of God are found in only one place: the Bible. Also, according to the
Apostle Peter one of our ongoing responsibilities is to “grow in the grace and
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18) and that we are to “make
every effort to add to our faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge...” (2
But how are
we to grow? Growth in the Lord is called “sanctification,” the process by which
we become more and more like Jesus Christ and more and more separated from the
world. Jesus Christ says that happens by the Word of God: “Sanctify them by the
truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) However, the Word of God must enter us
through our MIND—through our understanding—in order to change our hearts. Thus
we are to meditate deeply on Scripture in order to understand it better, so
that our hearts may be changed. And we are to meditate on “every word that comes
from the mouth of God.”
There is no
more useful discipline to this careful process of verse by verse meditation
than memorization. Memorization is not the same as meditation, but it is almost
impossible for someone to memorize a passage of Scripture without somewhat
deepening his/her understanding of those verses. Plus, once the passage is
memorized, a lifetime of reflection is now available through ongoing review...
while driving on long trips, while walking on beaches, while conversing with
friends, memorized verses can flow from you and cause a deepening of
that “we all, . . . beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into
the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18))
If we would be changed into Christ likeness we must steadily see him. This
happens in the word. “The Lord revealed himself to Samuel at
Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:21). Bible
memorization has the effect of making our gaze on Jesus steadier and clearer.
Victory over Sin
a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. . . . I
have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9, 11). Paul said that we
must “by the Spirit . . . put to death the [sinful] deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). The one
piece of armor used to kill is the “sword of the Spirit” which is the
word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
As sin lures the body into sinful action, we call to mind a Christ-revealing
word of Scripture and slay the temptation with the superior worth and beauty of
Christ over what sin offers.
Victory over Satan
was tempted by Satan in the wilderness he recited Scripture from memory and put
Satan to flight (Matthew 4:1-11).
Comfort and Counsel for Others
when people need you to give them comfort and counsel do not always coincide
with the times you have your Bible handy. Not only that, the very word of God
spoken spontaneously from your heart has unusual power. Proverbs 25:11says, “A
word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” That is a
beautiful way of saying, When the heart full of God’s love can draw on the
mind full of God’s word, timely blessings flow from the mouth.
Communication of the Gospel
to share the gospel come when we do not have the Bible in hand. Actual verses
of the Bible have their own penetrating power. And when they come from our
heart, as well as from the Book, the witness is given that they are precious enough
to learn. We should all be able to sum up the gospel in four main thoughts (1)
God’s character 2) man’s condition 3) Cross of Christ; 4) call to
repentance and faith. Learn a verse or two relating to each of these, and be
ready in season and out of season to share them.
memorization of Scripture enables us to bless lost people with a powerful and
vivid presentation of the gospel of salvation. “Faith comes from hearing the
message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Those who memorize Scripture obey Peter’s command in this regard: “Always be
prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the
hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The “preparation” Peter had in mind is best
done by memorizing Scripture. Remember that it is Scripture which is “able to
make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
The evangelist who stores up Scripture on the life of Christ, for example, can
vividly retell the miracle stories to a generation which is biblically
illiterate, which knows very little about the life of Christ. That person can
also give the theology of salvation from Paul’s epistles, if they have
memorized those books. In short, Scripture memorization makes one a much more
powerful and effective evangelist.
The way we
commune with (that is, fellowship with) God is by meditating on his attributes
and expressing to him our thanks and admiration and love, and seeking his help
to live a life that reflects the value of these attributes. Therefore, storing
texts in our minds about God helps us relate to him as he really is. For
example, imagine being able to call this to mind through the day:
Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal
with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as
high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward
those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove
our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so
the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he
remembers that we are dust.
other benefits... power and wisdom for counseling, the development of
heavenly-mindedness, the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit, conviction
over indwelling sin, fruitful passage of time while waiting, etc. Suffice it to
say that this is well worth our time.
Judgment Day comes, we will regret the waste of a single moment not used for
the glory of Christ. We will, however, not regret one moment we spent
diligently studying God’s Word and hiding it in our heart. We will only wish
we’d spent more moments doing this.