We Must Memorize Scripture

One of the privileges we have as children of the Sovereign Creator of the universe is to memorize His Holy Word. There is such reward and benefit in taking the time to affix these precious words from God onto our hearts, and admittedly I can and should do more of this spiritual discipline.

During our Project #2 at the CIAA Tournament outreach on March 5, 2011, a couple of occasions reminded me that I need to be more vigilant in memorizing Scripture. Granted, on the one time, I was able to convey the conceptual truth of the Scripture I was preaching to an unbeliever and they understood, and on another time my brother was able to step in as I stumbled over the words of Christ in Matthew 5. However, even though I generally know these Scriptures and have much of the New Testament written to my heart, wouldn’t it be edifying for me and a greater testimony of the Word of God if I could comfortably and boldly proclaim the Scripture accurately from the heart?

There are several reasons why it is fruitful to memorize Scripture, and it should be a desired task of every born again believer.  After all, if we are able, usually without much thought, to memorize mundane things like our social security numbers, phone numbers (at least in the age before cell phones), addresses, grocery items, song lyrics, and to-do lists – why wouldn’t we resolve to memorize the most important thing in our lives: the Word of God?

In a 2006 article, John Piper posted 6 reasons why we should memorize Scripture, which include:

1. Conformity to Christ – 2 Corinthians 3:18

2. Daily triumph over sin – Psalm 119:9, 11; Romans 8:13; Ephesians 6:17

3. Daily triumph over Satan – Matthew 4:1-11

4. Comfort and counsel for people you love – Proverbs 25:11

5. Communicating the Gospel to unbelievers

Opportunities 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 under four main headings (1) God’s holiness/law/glory; 2) man’s sin/rebellion/disobedience; 3) Christ’s death for sinners; 4) the free gift of life by faith. Learn a verse or two relating to each of these, and be ready in season and out of season to share them.

6. Communion with God in the enjoyment of His person and ways – Psalm 103:8-14; Psalm 103:1

(For brevity, I only included Piper’s comment under point 5, so please visit the article to read in its entirety).

Not only is memorizing Scripture an integral part of our sanctification and overcoming evil, but it further equips us with the Sword of the Spirit to pierce the hearts of those still dead in their sins. As such, I’d like to focus on Piper’s 4 points that will be addressed in future posts to encourage you to arm yourself with the Word of God for the sake of the lost souls you engage. These posts will address Scriptures that are key to evangelism, so I hope you stay tuned.

Before you might wonder how in the world you will accomplish such a huge task in memorizing the Bible, please don’t be discouraged. By taking one verse at a time, it is really not difficult and the benefits are great. On his new devotional blog for Christians who actively share their faith, Don’t Quit!, Tony Miano provides a wonderful practice to memorize Scripture. In just a few minutes, you can write the Word of God to your heart, preparing yourself for the Holy Spirit to bring them to remembrance at the appointed time.  Although I have yet to purchase the dry erase board, I have already used and benefited from the principle Tony provides to memorize Scripture. I hope you visit his blog and follow his posts – very encouraging!

Below you will find another piece of material from John Piper, which was posted in 2009. He addresses the points above but adds a couple of more. I hope this post and video stirs a passion in you to memorize the precious Word of God, our Bread of Life.

Won’t you join me?

In keeping with Tony’s first post on Scripture memorization, please consider memorizing John 17:3 following his guideline:

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

If you’d like to keep up with these posts and more, please don’t forget to subscribe on our home page.

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Comments
2 Responses to “We Must Memorize Scripture”
  1. Amen brother Justin. I have long believed in the absolute necessity of the memorization of Scripture for the reasons Piper mentions and several others. The ultimate apologetic when defending the faith and preaching it is the memorized proclamation of Scripture in context. When you can do that in the midst of hostility, you are a powerful, walking Systematic Theology that the Lord can use to bring about spiritual life in depraved hearts lacking the light of truth.

    • Amen, brother, and thank you for the comment. A walking Systematic Theology – I love that. Actually, watching your open-air message you shared with me really shows this principle in application. You inspired me to want to accurately proclaim Scripture from the heart. Apart from the life of Scripture living through us, I don’t think there is a greater testimony to our devotion to the King than to love His words enough to know them, and using them in and out of season to testify to our Hope within us.

      http://airo-cross.blogspot.com

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