J. N. Darby.
The coming is not presented as something to learn, but is constantly identified with character. "As men who wait for their Lord," not as men who believe in His coming! Some had become cold and felt not that the Lord would not come but that He delayed His coming. In 1 Thess. they were converted to wait for God's Son from heaven. Expecting Him as a living reality is becoming to a Christian. The love He showed in His death would lead us to follow Him too. The Christian is between Christ's first coming to save him and the second coming to take him to Himself. You first get the "watching" and then "doing" while He is away. He makes them rulers over all He hath. The Holy Ghost dwells in the Christian and is the seal to us of the efficacy of Christ's work on the Cross! Christ waits till the joint-heirs are gathered to put them in glory. 1 Thess. 1. shows the coming as part of their conversion. In 2, it is the joy of the Apostle's service. In 3, it is connected with holiness, a great element in the Christian life. In 4, it comes in to show that the "dead in Christ" will not be left out of blessing. In 5, the truth appears as a warning, so that the conversion, ministry, holiness and sorrows of the Cbristian are connected with the Coming. The Lord's person is precious and prominent. He is the object of our affections, but in glory being with Him is the great satisfaction, thus expectancy detaches us from the world. Two things needed are: (1) at peace with God and (2) to love Him enough to care for His coming. The Living Saviour is our object and exercises our consciences. All the passages presume that His Coming will be in the life of the people addressed, which is the present expectation! The sleeping virgins were the same who awoke. Whether absent or present we should be pleasing to Him, when He shall come! What will it be to hear His words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" "Loins girded" indicate hearts in order. "Flowing garments" make contact with the world, they need to be tucked up. Then "lights burning" is a full profession of Christ. When He will come He will make us sit down and feast on His things.
In Phil. 2, we see His path. There are two parts of the Christian's life, (1 ) like Christ in coming down, (2) like Him now, since He has gone up. He always went down! John 13! gives one step in His service now; love delights to serve. Luke 12:37, gives the blessing! His satisfaction is to make them happy. We do not believe enough in His heart being towards us and we have not enough heart for Him. "Ye have continued with me in my temptations." What a Saviour! Constant expectation leads to doing (serving). He has entrusted us with talents; perhaps giving a cup of cold water to His own. That the Lord has committed a service to all is in the kingdom aspect. There are two ways of looking at the inheritance. (1) as a man walking here in trials and difficulties looking out for the inheritance in Heaven; (2) as sitting in heavenly places with Christ and going to inherit all that Christ possesses. The heavenly Christ is the royal Christ! He is the Morning Star, the forerunner of the Sun of Righteousness in judgment. The awakened man sees the dawn! The kingdom rule has to do with earth. But His being "crowned with glory and honour" is more than that. In the counsel of God, He is getting joint-heirs for the same glory as Himself. The Father has given us to Christ for His own satisfaction, bringing many sons unto glory! On the Holy Mount, Christ was manifested in symbol with the saints in glory; they entered into the Shekinah cloud out of which came the voice of approval. The disciples feared as they entered, Moses and Elias had their part in the kingdom!
(Some notes of a reading with J. N. DARBY at Malvern, 1880.)