Question: "Why is Bible memorization important?"
Answer: Bible memorization is of utmost importance in the Christian life. In fact, memorizing Scripture is perhaps the single most crucial element to spiritual growth and victory over sin. The Word of God is powerful because it is literally “God-breathed” from the mind of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and when we fill our minds with His words by memorizing Scripture, we avail ourselves of the most powerful spiritual tool there is.
When we memorize the Word of God, several things happen. Psalm 119:11 tells us the psalmist hid God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin against Him. Not only did he hear and read the Word, but he internalized it and laid it up in his mind and memory for future use. The Word of God is the believer’s only truly potent weapon against sin, and when placed in the mind through Bible memorization, it is a strong influence for godliness and righteous living. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is “living and active,” meaning that it has supernatural power to mold us into Christ-likeness when we meditate upon it, and there is no better way to meditate on the Word than to have it in our minds and memories.
Ephesians 6:13-17 describes the believer’s armor in the battle for our souls and spiritual survival. All of the elements of the armor are defensive except one. The only offensive weapon is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). Just as Jesus used God’s Word to fend off attacks of Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), so must we be able to use the same weapon. But rarely does Satan give us time to “look up” the correct passages when we are confronted with his lies and deception. Bible memorization ensures that we will have the appropriate truths and principles in mind and be able to recall them instantly to effectively respond to the evil one who seeks to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us to “renew” our minds so that we are no longer influenced by the thinking that conforms us to this world. The only way to renew the mind is to fill it with Scripture.
Memorizing Scripture is the privilege and responsibility of every Christian. There are several excellent Scripture memory systems available, including the MacArthur Scripture Memory System by John MacArthur and the Navigators Topical Memory System. Even without a specific published method, anyone can start with the key verses of the Christian faith—such as John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9—and continue to build verse upon verse. The key is to continually review the ones already memorized before adding any new ones. Whatever method is chosen, the benefits of Bible memorization are victory over sin, strengthened faith, and joy in the Christian life.