1 Is there anything to be encouraged about by being in [fellowship with] Christ? Is there any comfort from His love? Is there any sharing with the Holy Spirit? [Have you received] any affection and compassion [from Christ]? 2 [Then] make me completely happy by being like-minded, having the same love [for one another], being united in spirit and having the same purpose. 3 Do not do anything from rivalry or from empty conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should not look out for your own interests [only], but also for those of other people.
5 You should think about things the way Christ Jesus did.
6 He existed in the form of God [i.e., He shared God's very nature], but did not consider [remaining] equal with God something [to continue] to hold onto. 7 Instead, He gave up what He had and took on the form [i.e., the nature] of a slave, becoming like a man, [and even] His appearance was found to be like a man's. 8 He humbled Himself [by] becoming obedient [to God] to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God also exalted Him to the highest position and gave Him the name [i.e., "Lord." See verse 11], which is superior to every [other] name. 10 [This was] so that, in [honor of] the name of Jesus, everyone's knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth [i.e., all rational creatures] should bow [i.e., before God], 11 and that everyone's mouth should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 So then, my dear ones, just as you people were always obedient [to my teaching] when I was there with you, so now, in my absence [also], be [obedient] all the more. [Continue to] complete your own salvation [i.e., by living faithfully to the end. See Rom. 13:11] with fear and trembling [i.e., with a reverent and submissive spirit], 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to motivate the desire and to carry out what pleases Him. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that you will be without just blame and innocent [of wrongdoing], children of God without fault in the middle of a crooked and perverted generation of people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, 16 as you hold out [i.e., offer to people] the message of [never ending] life. Then I will have something to boast about on the day of Christ's [return, See 1:6], that I had not run the race for nothing nor had worked for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out like a drink offering [See Ex. 29:38-41] on the sacrifice and service produced by your faith, I am glad and will rejoice with all of you. [Note: Paul here likens the possible pouring out of his blood to the wine and oil of the Old Testament sacrifice, which is then likened to the Philippians' faithful service to God]. 18 And you should be glad and share your joy with me also.
19 But I hope in [harmony with the wishes of] the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I could be encouraged when I learn of your situation [i.e., when Timothy returns with news from Philippi]. 20 For I do not have anyone else [i.e., as a fellow-worker] who thinks the same way I do, and who will genuinely care for your [spiritual and material] needs. 21 For everyone else is looking out for his own interests, not for those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you people know about his proven reliability, how he served with me in advancing [the work of] the Gospel just like a son working with his father. 23 So, I hope to send him [to you] as soon as I see how things will go with me. 24 But I am fully persuaded in [harmony with the wishes of] the Lord that I, myself, also will go to you soon. [Note: Paul here expresses the hope of being released from imprisonment, in spite of previous hints that he might be put to death. See 1:20; 2:17].
25 But I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger [to me] and minister to my needs. 26 For he longed to see all of you and was very distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 And indeed, he was [so] sick that he almost died, but God had pity on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow on top of another. 28 So, I am all the more eager to send him to you people, so that when you see him again you will be glad, and that my sorrow will be lessened [i.e., in knowing that you are relieved to see that he is well again]. 29 So, you should welcome him in [the fellowship of] the Lord with great joy, and regard such people with honor, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to provide me with what you were not able to.