I’m not a Bible scholar and I’ve never studied Greek, but I will say that sections that seemed complicated or repetitive…became clearer and more understandable to me as I worked them over and over and over, and as the living and active Word of God pierced my heart and mind.
“C’mon, Mom. Let’s do it.” When a daughter suggests memorizing a chapter of the Bible together, what can you say? So we memorized the eighth chapter of Romans this past spring. And I have to say, it was exhilarating! My spirit soared as Paul built his case for life in the Spirit, our adoption, the glory to be revealed to us, and the deep love of Christ for his saints. And at some point, it hit me—I am a 65-year-old Christian woman. What have I been doing all these years? Sure, I have throughout my life memorized many Bible verses, psalms, and chapters of the Bible here and there. But by this point, why have I not memorized more of the Scriptures? There’s no excuse! So I turned back to the first chapter of Romans and decided to go for it. I quit checking Facebook and put down my phone. By November the Lord enabled me to commit all 16 chapters of the epistle to memory. I wish I had words to express the profound and life-altering impact memorizing this Scripture has had on me. Here are just a few of those benefits:
Discovery of Passages Hidden in Plain Sight
I think the “famous” verses that we know and love have obscured the verses coming right before or right after. Take Romans 3:23, for example: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Lifting that verse out of the chapter, I had lost the meaning and the glory of that whole section. I had no idea how all of chapter 3 is building to a crescendo, culminating in the magnificent declaration of verses 21 and following:
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Or where has Romans 8:27 been all my life? Of course, Romans 8:28 is one of the most dearly loved and cherished verses of all time, but memorizing the whole chapter brought 8:27 to me in a new way. ”And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” “He who searches hearts”—I love that! A gem I had been completely missing.