“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” –John 8:31-32
The first advantage of memorizing Scripture is that it aids in understanding and applying truth to everyday life. One of the more famous instances we see this in Scripture is when Jesus is standing before Pilate and is asked, “What is truth?” Without a transcendent truth-giver, it would be extremely difficult (impossible, in my opinion) to know truth. For the Christian, however, this is not an issue, as we believe that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).
Therefore, it follows that as we seek to live lives that will honor and please our Lord and Savior, we will spend time learning the truth and how it applies to our lives. John 8:31-32 says, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” The word abide references the act of continually thinking on Christ, and interestingly enough, is made to correspond with knowing His truth! This principle is also seen in Joshua 1:8, where the Israelite leader is commanded to be thinking on God’s Word at all times, which in turn allows him to know truth and apply it in a way that would lead to prosperity. In Acts 17, the Bereans were commended because they “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
By having a mental storehouse bursting at the seams with memorized Scripture, we equip ourselves to rightly handle the world and the lies that are thrown at us. In 1 John 4, believers are advised to “test the spirits,” and I suggest that the best way to immediately accomplish this when required is to have a working knowledge and memory of the Word of God. If this is not achieved, we will find our memory storehouses lacking when we are called upon to “test the spirits,” and subsequently, our ability to rightly discern according to God’s will diminished.