1Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? 2If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose. 3When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. 4Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.
Be Unselfish Like Christ
5In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.
6Christ himself was like God in everything.
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.
7But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.
He was born as a man
and became like a servant.
8And when he was living as a man,
he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God,
even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
9So God raised him to the highest place.
God made his name greater than every other name
10so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
and bring glory to God the Father.
Be the People God Wants You to Be
12My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, 13because God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing. 15Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world. 16You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and won.
17Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. If I have to offer my own blood with your sacrifice, I will be happy and full of joy with all of you. 18You also should be happy and full of joy with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon. I will be happy to learn how you are. 20I have no one else like Timothy, who truly cares for you. 21Other people are interested only in their own lives, not in the work of Jesus Christ. 22You know the kind of person Timothy is. You know he has served with me in telling the Good News, as a son serves his father. 23I plan to send him to you quickly when I know what will happen to me. 24I am sure that the Lord will help me to come to you soon.
25Epaphroditus, my brother in Christ, works and serves with me in the army of Christ. When I needed help, you sent him to me. I think now that I must send him back to you, 26because he wants very much to see all of you. He is worried because you heard that he was sick. 27Yes, he was sick, and nearly died, but God had mercy on him and me too so that I would not have more sadness. 28I want very much to send him to you so that when you see him you can be happy, and I can stop worrying about you. 29Welcome him in the Lord with much joy. Give honor to people like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to give me the help you could not give in your service to me.