GOD'S WORD® Translation
1So then, as Christians, do you have any encouragement? Do you have any comfort from love? Do you have any spiritual relationships? Do you have any sympathy and compassion? 2Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love, living in harmony, and keeping one purpose in mind. 3Don't act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. 4Don't be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.
5Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. 7Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. 8He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross. 9This is why God has given him an exceptional honor- the name honored above all other names- 10so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will kneel 11and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
12My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I'm absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing. 15Then you will be blameless and innocent. You will be God's children without any faults among people who are crooked and corrupt. You will shine like stars among them in the world 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. Then I can brag on the day of Christ that my effort was not wasted and that my work produced results. 17My life is being poured out as a part of the sacrifice and service [I offer to God] for your faith. Yet, I am filled with joy, and I share that joy with all of you. 18For this same reason you also should be filled with joy and share that joy with me.
19I hope that the Lord Jesus will allow me to send Timothy to you soon so that I can receive some encouraging news about you. 20I don't have anyone else like Timothy. He takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21Everyone else looks after his own interests, not after those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know what kind of person Timothy proved to be. Like a father and son we worked hard together to spread the Good News. 23I hope to send him as soon as I see how things are going to turn out for me. 24But the Lord gives me confidence that I will come [to visit you] soon.
25I feel that I must send Epaphroditus-my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier-back to you. You sent him as your personal representative to help me in my need. 26He has been longing to see all of you and is troubled because you heard that he was sick. 27Indeed, he was so sick that he almost died. But God had mercy not only on him but also on me and kept me from having one sorrow on top of another. 28So I'm especially eager to send him to you. In this way you will have the joy of seeing him again and I will feel relieved. 29Give him a joyful Christian welcome. Make sure you honor people like Epaphroditus highly. 30He risked his life and almost died for the work of Christ in order to make up for the help you couldn't give me.