John Piper – Why Memorize Scripture?

Posted by Dave Davidson


Tag: bible devotion gif John piper memorize scripture sermon video

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John Piper: 8 Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Here is the full sermon by John Piper on Scripture memorization.  After a stunning 15 minutes straight of reciting many different Scripture passages, Mr. Piper gave 8 good reasons why a Christian should memorize the Bible.

  1. Memorizing Scripture makes meditation possible at times when I can’t be reading the Bible, and meditation is the pathway of deeper understanding.
  2. Memorizing Scripture strengthens my faith because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ, and that happens when I am hearing the word in my head.
  3. Memorizing Scripture shapes the way I view the world by conforming my mind to God’s viewpoint.
  4. Memorizing Scripture makes God’s word more readily accessible for overcoming temptation to sin, because God’s warnings and promises are the way we conquer the deceitful promises of sin.
  5. Memorizing Scripture guards my mind by making it easier to detect error—and the world is filled with error, since the god of this world is a liar.
  6. Memorizing Scripture enables me to hit the devil in the face with a force he cannot resist, and so protect myself and my family from his assaults.
  7. Memorizing Scripture provides the strongest and sweetest words for ministering to others in need.
  8. Memorizing Scripture provides the matrix for fellowship with Jesus because he talks to me through his word, and I talk to him in prayer.

I wish I could persuade everyone to do this.

Here is inspiration and application on why and how to memorize Scripture.

Why Do It?

First, the inspiration.

Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote,

Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.

(“Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person” in Vocatio, Vol. 12, no. 2, Spring, 2001, 7).

Chuck Swindoll wrote,

I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.

(Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], 61).

How to Do It

Second, the application.

The most helpful practical method I have ever run into, especially for memorizing longer passages, is the booklet from Andy Davis and is downloadable here.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org. He served for 32 years as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books. John and his wife Noël have five children and twelve grandchildren.


The motive should not be to impress people with our superior brain power (“Oh yeah?  Well I just memorized the genealogy of the antediluvian patriarchs and the entire book of Leviticus!!”), but rather to know God more, love Him and be conformed to His image more, and minister to others with His love more. - Jonathan Girotti

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