Humility and Unity
1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2complete my joy, so that you are in agreement#Literally “you think the same thing, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose#Literally “thinking the one thing”. 3Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, 4each of you#Some manuscripts have “each one of you” not looking out for your own interests#Literally “the things of yourselves”, but also each of you for the interests#Literally “the things” of others.
Christ’s Humiliation and Exaltation
5Think this in#Or “among” yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped,
7but emptied himself
by#*Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“taking”) which is understood as means taking the form of a slave,
by#*Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“becoming”) which is understood as means becoming in the likeness of people.
And being found in appearance like a man,
8he humbled himself
by#*Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“becoming”) which is understood as means becoming obedient to the point of death,
that is, death on a cross.
9Therefore also God exalted him
and graciously granted him the name above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth,
11and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Holding Fast to the Word of Life
12Therefore my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For the one at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure, is God. 14Do all things without grumbling and disputing, 15in order that you may become blameless and innocent, children of God without fault#Or “blameless” in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the world,#Or possibly “in the universe” 16holding fast to the word of life, for a source of pride#Or “for a cause of boasting” to me in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and rejoice with all of you. 18And in the same way also you rejoice and rejoice with me.
Timothy’s Proven Character
19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I also may be encouraged when I#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as temporal know your circumstances#Literally “the things concerning you”. 20For I have no one like-minded who will sincerely be concerned about your circumstances#Literally “the things concerning you”. 21For they all seek their own interests#Literally “the things of themselves”, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know his proven character, that like a child with a father he served with me for the gospel. 23Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see my circumstances#Literally “the things concerning me”. 24And I am convinced in the Lord that I myself will arrive shortly also.
25But I considered it#*Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, but your messenger and servant of my need, 26because he was longing for all of you and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27For indeed he was sick, coming near to death, but God had mercy on him and not on him only, but also on me, so that I would not have grief upon grief. 28Therefore I am sending him with special urgency, in order that when#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“see”) which is understood as temporal you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less anxious. 29Therefore welcome him in the Lord with all joy, and consider such people highly honored, 30because on account of the work of Christ he came near to the point of death, risking his life in order that he might make up for your inability to serve me#Literally “he might fill up your lack of service to me”.