1 If then there is any comfort in Christ, if there is any persuasive power in love, if there is any companionship of the Spirit, if there is any tenderness or pity, 2 I entreat you to make my joy overflow by living in harmony; possessing the same love, and with one soul united in one purpose. 3 Do nothing out of strife, nothing out of vanity, but let each one in true humility consider the others to be of more account than himself. 4 Let each have an eye not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
6 who, though from the beginning he had the nature of God, did not reckon equality with God something to be forcibly retained, 7 but emptied himself of his glory by taking the form of a slave, when he was born in the likeness of men. 8 More than this, after he had shone himself in human form, he humbled himself in his obedience even to death; yes, and to death on a cross. 9 And for this God highly exalted him, and graciously bestowed upon him the name which is above every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee in heaven, on earth, and under the earth should bend, 11 and every tongue confess that "Jesus Christ is Lord," to the glory of God the Father.
12 And so, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, with reverence and self-distrust work out your own salvation; 13 for it is God who, in his good-will is ever working in you both will and deed. 14 Do everything without grumbling and disputes, 15 that you may become blameless and innocent, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in a dark world, 16 holding out a message of life. Thus it will be my boast at the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, or toiled for nothing. 17 Nay, even if my life is to be poured out as a libation upon the sacrifice and service of you faith, 18 I will rejoice and congratulate you all; and in the same way you must rejoice and congratulate me.
19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you before long, so that I may be of good comfort when I learn the news concerning you. 20 For I have no other like him with a genuine concern for your welfare, 21 for they are all seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 And you know Timothy's worth, how he has shared my servitude in furtherance of the gospel, like a son helping his father. 23 So I hope to send him, as soon as ever I see how it will go with me; 24 but I trust in the Lord that I also shall come shortly.
25 Epaphroditus, my brother and coworker and fellow soldier, who is your messenger and minister to my needs, I have thought it necessary to send to you; 26 for he has been homesick for you all, and distressed at your having heard of his illness. 27 And indeed he was sick nigh unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also so that I should not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I have been the more eager to send him, in order that you may rejoice in seeing him again, and that I may have one sorrow less. 29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold in honor men like him; 30 for it was through the work of the Lord that he came near to death; for he hazarded his very life to supply what was lacking in the help you sent me.