Just as there are fitness drills for the body, scripture memorization is used for mental discipline and moral indoctrination. With each belt that is earned at CCKFC, there is a requirement to memorize a passage of scripture. Pastor Ian Elliot gave a sermon concerning the necessity and benefits of scripture memorization on as part of the series, "Getting a Grip on God's Word" entitled "Memorize It". A summary follows below.

The sermon started with some quotations from notable Christian authors:

"If it were my decision, every student graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary would be required to learn one thousand verses word perfect before they graduated."

Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary

"Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs."

Dallas Willard

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

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

Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said,

"Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory in order to confirm what I had found."

So why should we memorize scriptures? Pastor Elliot lists four reasons.

  1. As a protection against temptation

    Psalm 119:11 - I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. The story of Jesus in the wilderness is a reinforcement of this principle. Matthew 4:4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" That verse comes from Deuteronomy 8:3, "Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather we live by every word that comes from the mouth of The Lord." So Jesus used this passage as protection against the temptation being offered by the adversary.

    The second temptation involved Satan quoting scripture out of context, and misconstruing the intention of the passage. Jesus responds from the Torah with Deuteronomy 6:16 - "You must not test The Lord , your God as you did at Manassah." The nation of Israel had been complaining about the lack of water.

    In the third temptation shows all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus and offers them to Him if Jesus would bow down and worship Him. Jesus replies, again from Scripture, with (Mathew 4:10) - "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the scriptures say, "You must worship The Lord your God and serve only him." which is a reference in Deuteronomy 6.

  2. To provide counsel and comfort

    Proverbs 25: 11 - Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket

    Isaiah 40: 28 - 31 - Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in The Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

  1. Share the Gospel

    1 Peter 3:15, 16 - Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

    Memorization affords answers to people's questions. If a person says they are a good person, and will be judged on the basis of their good actions, Scripture directly contradicts this - Romans 3:23 - For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.

    What about the idea of earning salvation - Ephesians 2: 8, 9 - For by grace are you saved and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Is salvation impossible - No, Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    So what is the gift of God? - John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whomsoever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.

    The gift of God changes us - John 1: 12, 13 - But to all who believed bin and accepted him, he gave the right to become the children of God. They are reborn- not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

    And then what - ready for heaven - Ephesians 2: 10 - For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good things he planned for us long ago. We are called to do good works.

  2. Remind us of God's character and provide hope and strength

    Psalm 103: 8 - 13 - The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

How to Memorize Scriptures

  1. Remind yourself of the importance of Scripture memorization.

  2. Choose verses or a plan that addresses a truth or need that is currently a priority in your life.

  3. Use index cards or a smart phone so you have constant access to the verses you are memorizing.

  4. Memorize a phrase at a time and repeat, repeat, repeat.

  5. Find a memorization partner to encourage and challenge you.

  6. Look for opportunities to share your memory verses with someone.


And a couple of closing thoughts:

Psalm 119: 105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

2 Timothy 3: 16, 17 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Memory Verses by Belt

The verses for each belt are listed below. The color coding is red for the child's basic belt, blue for the child's advanced belt, and adults must memorize all of the passages.

White

Psalm 144: 1, 2

1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: 2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Yellow

John 3:16 - 21

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Matthew 6: 5 - 15

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Orange

Exodus 20: 1 - 17

1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Purple

1 John 4: 7 - 21

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Blue

Hebrews 12: 7 - 14

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Green

1 Corinthians 13: 1 - 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.