How wonderful it is to study the Scripture and know that I not only have the page in my hand, but I have the Author in my heart. The Author is the Spirit of God who is the teacher. First John 2:20 says, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” Now just stated by itself that verse may not make a lot of sense, but let me give you the context: John was talking about false teachers—antichrists. The Gnostics, who were a group of people who thought they knew everything (Gk., gnosis, “to know”), said, “We know because we have an anointing.” They thought they had a special anointing that elevated them above everybody else. But John said to the Christians, “You’re the ones with the unction; you’re the ones with the anointing. You don’t have some mystical Gnostic anointing; you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” In verse 27 he elucidates further on the same thought: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you.” What is this anointing that lives in us? It’s the Spirit of God. And since the Spirit of God lives within us, we don’t need human teachers because He teaches us. John said that we don’t need teachers to teach us human wisdom. Why? Because we have an anointing—the Spirit of God.
It’s obvious then that we need to be born again, be diligent, have a strong desire, live a holy life, and be Spirit-filled—Spirit-controlled because the Spirit is the One who teaches and applies the Word to our lives. But there’s one other thing: all this has to come together in an atmosphere of prayer. So the sixth requirement for who can study the Bible is:
John MacArthur Jr., How to Study the Bible, John MacArthur’s Bible Studies (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985).