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.
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)