19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. (1Co 4:17; 1Th 3:2)20For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (1Co 16:10)21For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (1Co 10:24; 2Ti 3:2)22But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. (1Co 4:17; 2Co 2:9; 1Ti 1:2; 2Ti 1:2; 2Ti 3:10)23I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me,24and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. (Php 1:25; Phm 1:22)25I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, (Php 4:18; Phm 1:2)26for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.27Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.28I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.29So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, (Ro 16:2; 1Co 16:18; 1Th 5:12; 1Ti 5:17)30for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (Ac 20:24; 1Co 16:17; Php 4:10)
New International Version
Imitating Christ’s humility
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:6who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do everything without grumbling
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.14Do everything without grumbling or arguing,15so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky (De 32:5)16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.20I have no-one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.21For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.23I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.29So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honour people like him,30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
King James Version
1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.17Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.18For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.19But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.20For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.21For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.22But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.23Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.24But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.25Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.26For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.27For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.28I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.29Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:30Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
New International Reader’s Version
Being humble like Christ
1So does belonging to Christ help you in any way? Does his love comfort you at all? Do you share anything in common because of the Holy Spirit? Has Christ ever been gentle and loving towards you?2If any of these things has happened to you, then agree with one another. Have the same love. Be one in spirit and in the way you think and act. By doing this, you will make my joy complete.3Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves.4None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.5As you deal with one another, you should think and act as Jesus did.6In his very nature he was God. Jesus was equal with God. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of that fact.7Instead, he made himself nothing. He did this by taking on the nature of a servant. He was made just like human beings.8He appeared as a man. He was humble and obeyed God completely. He did this even though it led to his death. Even worse, he died on a cross!9So God lifted him up to the highest place. God gave him the name that is above every name.10When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship him. Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will kneel down to worship him.11Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.
Live without complaining
12My dear friends, you have always obeyed God. You obeyed while I was with you. And you have obeyed even more while I am not with you. So continue to work out your own salvation. Do it with fear and trembling.13God is working in you. He wants your plans and your acts to fulfil his good purpose.14Do everything without complaining or arguing.15Then you will be pure and without blame. You will be children of God without fault among sinful and evil people. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.16You will shine as you hold on tight to the word of life. Then I will be able to boast about you on the day Christ returns. I can be happy that I didn’t run or work for nothing.17But my life might even be poured out like a drink offering on your sacrifices. I’m talking about the way you serve because you believe. Even so, I am glad. I am joyful with all of you.18So you too should be glad and joyful with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope to send Timothy to you soon if the Lord Jesus allows it. Then I will be encouraged when I receive news about you.20I have no one else like Timothy. He will truly care about how you are doing.21All the others are looking out for their own interests. They are not looking out for the interests of Jesus Christ.22But you know that Timothy has proved himself. He has served with me like a son with his father in spreading the good news.23So I hope to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.24And I’m sure I myself will come soon if the Lord allows it.25But I think it’s necessary to send Epaphroditus back to you. He is my brother in the Lord. He is a worker and a soldier of Christ together with me. He is also your messenger. You sent him to take care of my needs.26He longs for all of you. He is troubled because you heard he was ill.27He was very ill. In fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him. He also had mercy on me. God spared me sadness after sadness.28So I want even more to send him to you. Then when you see him again, you will be glad. And I won’t worry so much.29So then, welcome him as a brother in the Lord with great joy. Honour people like him.30He almost died for the work of Christ. He put his life in danger to make up for the help you yourselves couldn’t give me.