The Lord’s Supper by JC Ryle
He who eats the bread and the wine in a right spirit will find himself drawn into closer communion with Christ, and will feel to know Him more, and understand Him better.
Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a “humbling” effect on the soul. The sight of the bread and the wine as emblems of Christ’s body and blood reminds us how sinful sin must be, if nothing less than the death of God’s own Son could make satisfaction for it, or redeem us from its guilt. Never should we be so “clothed with humility” as when we receive the Lord’s Supper.
Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a “cheering” effect on the soul. The sight of the bread broken, and the wine poured out, reminds us how full, perfect and complete is our salvation! Those vivid emblems remind us what an enormous price has been paid for our redemption. They press home the mighty truth – that believing on Christ, we have nothing to fear, because a sufficient payment has been made for our debt. The “precious blood of Christ” answers every charge that can be brought against us. God can be “just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” ( Romans 3:26).
Right reception of the Lord’s supper has a “sanctifying” effect on the soul. The bread and wine remind us how great is our debt to our Lord, and how thoroughly we are bound to live for Him who died for our sins. They seem to say to us, ” Remember what Christ has done for you – and ask yourself whether there is anything too great to do for Him.”
Such is a brief account of the benefits which a right-hearted communicant may expect to receive from the Lord’s supper. In eating that bread and drinking that cup, such a man will have his repentance deepened, his faith increased, his knowledge enlarged, his habit of holy living strengthened. He will realize more of the real presence of Christ in his heart. Eating that bread by faith, he will feel closer communion with the body of Christ. Drinking that wine by faith, he will feel closer communion with the blood of Christ. He will see more clearly what Christ is to him, and what he is to Christ. He will understand more thoroughly what it is to be “one with Christ and Christ one with him.” He will feel the roots of his soul’s spiritual life watered and the work of grace in his heart established, built up, and carried forward.