International Standard Version
Unity through Humility
1Therefore, if there is any encouragement in the Messiah,a if there is any comfort of love, if there is any fellowship in the Spirit, if there is any compassion and sympathy, 2then fill me with joy by having the same attitude, sharing the same love, being united in spirit, and keeping one purpose in mind. 3Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves. 4Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned aboutb the interests of others. 5Have the same attitude among yourselvesc that was also in the Messiahd Jesus:e
6In God’s own form existed he,
and shared with God equality,
deemed nothing needed grasping.
7Instead, poured out in emptiness,
a servant’s form did he possess,
a mortal man becoming.
In human form he chose to be,
8and lived in all humility,
death on a cross obeying.
9Now lifted up by God to heaven,
a name above all others given,
this matchless name possessing.
10And so, when Jesus’ name is called,
the knees of everyone should fall,f
wherever they’re residing.g
11Then every tongue in one accord,
will say that Jesus the Messiahh is Lord,
while God the Father praising.
12And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him. 14Do everything without complaining or arguing 15so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. Then I will be proud when the Messiahi returnsj that I did not run in vain or work hard in vain.
17Yet even if I am being poured out like an offering as part of the sacrifice and service I offerk for your faith, I rejoice, and I share my joy with all of you. 18In the same way, you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.
News about Paul’s Companions
19Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I can be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20I do not have anyone else like him who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21For all the others look after their own interests, not after those of Jesus the Messiah.l 22But you know his proven worth—how like a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23Therefore, I hope to send him as soon as I see how things are going to turn out for me. 24Indeed, I am confident in the Lord that I will come to visit youm soon.
25Meanwhile, I thought it best to send Epaphroditus—my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and minister to my need—back to you. 26For he has been longing forn all of you and is troubled because you heard that he was sick. 27Indeed, he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow on top of another.o 28Therefore, I am especially eager to send him so that you may have the joy of seeing him again, and so that I may feel relieved. 29So joyfully welcome him in the Lord and make sure you honor such people highly, 30because he came close to death for the work of the Messiahp by risking his life to complete what remained unfinished in your service to me.
a 2:1 Or Christ
b 2:4 The Gk. lacks be concerned about
c 2:5 Or Have this mind in you
d 2:5 Or Christ
e 2:5 Verses 6-11 probably represent an early Christian hymn.
f 2:10 Or every knee should bend
g 2:10 Lit. in heaven, on earth, and under the earth
h 2:11 Or Christ
i 2:16 Or Christ
j 2:16 Lit. will boast in the day of the Messiah
k 2:17 The Gk. lacks I offer
l 2:21 Or Christ
m 2:24 The Gk. lacks to visit you
n 2:26 Other mss. read longing to see
o 2:27 Lit. sorrow on sorrow
p 2:30 Or Christ; other mss. read Lord