Christian Unity and Christ’s Humility
2:1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit,1 any affection or mercy,2 2:2 complete my joy and be of the same mind,3 by having the same love, being united in spirit,4 and having one purpose. 2:3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition5 or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 2:4 Each of you should be concerned6 not only7 about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.8 2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had,9
2:610 who though he existed in the form of God11
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
2:7 but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,12
by looking like other men,13
and by sharing in human nature.14
2:8 He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
– even death on a cross!
2:9 As a result God exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
2:10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
– in heaven and on earth and under the earth –
2:11 and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
2:12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence,15 2:13 for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God. 2:14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 2:15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world16 2:16 by holding on to17 the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. 2:17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. 2:18 And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.
Models for Ministry
2:19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 2:20 For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you.18 2:21 Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 2:22 But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 2:23 So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 2:24 though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you19 soon.
2:25 But for now20 I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother,21 coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger22 and minister23 to me in my need.24 2:26 Indeed, he greatly missed all of you and was distressed because you heard that he had been ill. 2:27 In fact he became so ill that he nearly died.25 But God showed mercy to him – and not to him only, but also to me – so that I would not have grief on top of grief. 2:28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him,26 so that when you see him again you can rejoice27 and I can be free from anxiety. 2:29 So welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 2:30 since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died. He risked his life so that he could make up for your inability to serve me.28