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Believers Shine Like Lights in the World

12 My beloved ones, just like you’ve always listened to everything I’ve taught you in the past, I’m asking you now to keep following my instructions as though I were right there with you. Now you must continue to make this new life fully manifested as you live[a] in the holy awe of God—which brings you trembling into his presence. 13 God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.[b]

14 Live a cheerful life, without complaining or division among yourselves. 15 For then you will be seen as innocent,[c] faultless, and pure children of God, even though you live in the midst of a brutal and perverse culture.[d] For you will appear among them as shining lights[e] in the universe, 16 holding out[f] the words of eternal life.[g]

I haven’t labored among you for nothing, for your lives are the fruit of my ministry and will be my glorious boast at the unveiling[h] of Christ!

17 But I will rejoice even if my life is poured out like a liquid offering to God over your sacrificial and surrendered lives of faith.[i] 18 And so no matter what happens to me, you should rejoice in ecstatic celebration with me!

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  1. 2:12 The Aramaic can be translated “push through the service of your life” or “work the work of your life.”
  2. 2:13 The Aramaic can be translated “to accomplish the good things you desire to do.”
  3. 2:15 Or “mature.”
  4. 2:15 See Deut. 32:5–6.
  5. 2:15 The Aramaic can be translated “the enlightened ones.”
  6. 2:16 Or “holding fast to the words of eternal life.”
  7. 2:16 The Aramaic can be translated “you stand in the place of life to them.” The Greek text means “holding out to them the word of life.”
  8. 2:16 Or “day.”
  9. 2:17 The interpretation of this verse is difficult; it is speaking about Paul’s willingness to be a love offering for the Philippians if that’s what God desired. There is a powerful figure of speech contained in the Aramaic, literally translated as “though I imbibe the wine poured over the offering.” This is a metaphor of Paul shedding his blood one day because of his love for the Philippians. Indeed, Paul was later martyred for his faith.

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