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True Humility

Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God’s Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others. Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person. Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought:[a]

Christ was truly God.
But he did not try to remain[b]
    equal with God.
Instead he gave up everything[c]
    and became a slave,
when he became
    like one of us.

Christ was humble.
He obeyed God
and even died
    on a cross.
Then God gave Christ
    the highest place
and honored his name
    above all others.

10 So at the name of Jesus
    everyone will bow down,
those in heaven, on earth,
    and under the earth.
11 And to the glory
    of God the Father
everyone will openly agree,
    “Jesus Christ is Lord!”

Lights in the World

12 My dear friends, you always obeyed when I was with you. Now that I am away, you should obey even more. So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved. 13 God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing. 15 Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything that they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, 16 as you hold firmly to[d] the message that gives life. Then on the day when Christ returns, I can take pride in you. I can also know that my work and efforts were not useless.

17 Your faith in the Lord and your service are like a sacrifice offered to him. And my own blood may have to be poured out with the sacrifice.[e] If this happens, I will be glad and rejoice with you. 18 In the same way, you should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I want to be encouraged by news about you. So I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. 20 I don’t have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does. 21 The others think only about what interests them and not about what concerns Christ Jesus. 22 But you know what kind of person Timothy is. He has worked with me like a son in spreading the good news. 23 I hope to send him to you, as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me. 24 And I feel sure that the Lord will also let me come soon.

25 I think I ought to send my dear friend Epaphroditus back to you. He is a follower and a worker and a soldier of the Lord, just as I am. You sent him to look after me, 26 but now he is eager to see you. He is worried, because you heard he was sick. 27 In fact, he was very sick and almost died. But God was kind to him, and also to me, and he kept me from being burdened down with sorrow.

28 Now I am more eager than ever to send Epaphroditus back again. You will be glad to see him, and I won’t have to worry any longer. 29 Be sure to give him a cheerful welcome, just as people who serve the Lord deserve. 30 He almost died working for Christ, and he risked his own life to do for me what you could not.

Footnotes

  1. 2.5 think the same way that Christ Jesus thought: Or “think the way you should because you belong to Christ Jesus.”
  2. 2.6 remain: Or “become.”
  3. 2.7 Instead he gave up everything: Greek, “He emptied himself.”
  4. 2.16 hold firmly to: Or “offer them.”
  5. 2.17 my own blood may have to be poured out with the sacrifice: Offerings of water or wine were sometimes poured out when animals were sacrificed on the altar.

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