1 So by whatever appeal there is in our relation to Christ, by whatever incentive there is in love, by whatever participation there is in the Spirit, whatever affection and sympathy, 2 make me perfectly happy by living in harmony, with the same attitude of love, with the same feeling and purpose. 3 Do not act for selfish ends or from vanity, but modestly treat one another as your superiors. 4 Do not take account of your own interests, but of the interests of others as well.
5 Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he possessed the nature of God, he did not grasp at equality with God, 7 but laid it aside to take on the nature of a slave and become like other men. 8 When he had assumed human form, he still further humbled himself and carried his obedience so far as to die, and to die upon the cross. 9 That is why God has so greatly exalted him, and given him the name above all others, 10 so that in the name of Jesus everyone should kneel, in heaven and on earth and in the underworld, 11 and everyone should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, and thus glorify God the Father.
12 So, my dear friends, as you have always been obedient, with reverence and awe make every effort to insure your salvation, not simply as though I were with you, but all the more because I am away. 13 For it is God who in his good will is at work in your hearts, inspiring your will and your action. 14 Do everything without any grumbling or disputing, 15 so that you will be blameless and honest, faultless children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverted age, in which you appear like stars in a dark world, 16 offering men the message of life. Then I will have reason to boast of you on the Day of Christ, because my exertion and labor have not been wasted. 17 Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation as you offer your faith in a service of sacrifice to God, I am glad to have it so, and I congratulate you upon it, 18 just as you must be glad and congratulate me.
19 I hope, with the help of the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy to you soon, so that I, too, may be cheered by having news about you. 20 For I have no one like him who would take such a real interest in you. 21 For they are all looking out for their own interests, not for those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his character, and how like a son helping his father he has worked like a slave with me in preaching the good news. 23 So I hope to send him to you just as soon as I can see how my case is going to turn out. 24 I trust the Lord to enable me to come to you myself before long.
25 But I feel that I must send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow-laborer, and fellow-soldier, whom you sent to look after my needs. 26 For he has been longing to see you all, and has been greatly distressed because you heard that he was sick. 27 For he was sick, and nearly died, but God took pity on him, and not only on him, but on me, to save me from having one sorrow after another. 28 So I am all the more eager to send him, so that you may have the pleasure of seeing him again, and I may feel more relieved. 29 So give him a hearty Christian welcome, and value men like him very highly, 30 for he came near dying for the Lord's work, and risked his life to make up for what was lacking in the service you have done me.