1 So by all the stimulus of Christ, by every incentive of love, by all your participation in the Spirit, by all your affectionate tenderness, 2 I pray you to give me the utter joy of knowing you are living in harmony, with the same feelings of love, with one heart and soul, 3 never acting for private ends or from vanity, but humbly considering each other the better man, 4 and each with an eye to the interests of others as well as to his own.
6 Though he was divine by nature, he did not set store upon equality with God 7 but emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant; born in human guise 8 and appearing in human form, he humbly stooped in his obedience even to die, and to die upon the cross. 9 Therefore God raised him high and conferred on him a Name above all names, 10 so that before the Name of Jesus every knee should bend in heaven, on earth, and underneath the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that 'Jesus Christ is Lord,' to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have been obedient always and not simply when I was present, so, now that I am absent, work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling, 13 for it is God who in his goodwill enables you to will this and to achieve it. 14 In all that you do, avoid grumbling and disputing, 15 so as to be blameless and innocent, faultless children of God in a crooked and perverse generation where you shine like stars in a dark world; 16 hold fast the word of life, so that I can be proud of you on the Day of Christ, because I have not run or worked for nothing. 17 Even if my life-blood has to be poured as a libation on the sacred sacrifice of faith you are offering to God, I rejoice, I congratulate you all ??18 and you in turn must rejoice and congratulate me.
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send you Timotheus before long, that I may be heartened by news of you. 20 I have no one like him, for genuine interest in your welfare. 21 Everybody is selfish, instead of caring for Jesus Christ. 22 But you know how he has stood the test, how he has served with me in the gospel, like a son helping his father. 23 I hope to send him then, as soon as ever I see how it will go with me ??24 though I am confident in the Lord that I shall be coming myself before long.
25 As for Epaphroditus, however, my brother, my fellow-worker, my fellow-soldier, and your messenger to meet my wants, I think it necessary to send you him at once, 26 for he has been yearning for you all. He has been greatly concerned because you heard he was ill. 27 And he was ill, nearly dead with illness. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me, to save me from having one sorrow upon another. 28 So I am specially eager to send him, that you may be glad when you see him again, and thus my own anxiety may be lightened. 29 Give him a welcome in the Lord, then, with your hearts full of joy. Value men like that, 30 for he nearly died in the service of Christ by risking his life to make up for the services you were not here to render me.