If then I can appeal to you as the followers of Christ, if there is any persuasive power in love and any common sharing of the Spirit, or if you have any tender-heartedness and compassion, make my joy complete by being of one mind,
united by mutual love, with harmony of feeling giving your minds to one and the same object.
Do nothing in a spirit of factiousness or of vainglory, but, with true humility, let every one regard the rest as being of more account than himself;
each fixing his attention, not simply on his own interests, but on those of others also.
Let the same disposition be in you which was in Christ Jesus.
Although from the beginning He had the nature of God He did not reckon His equality with God a treasure to be tightly grasped.
Nay, He stripped Himself of His glory, and took on Him the nature of a bondservant by becoming a man like other men.
And being recognized as truly human, He humbled Himself and even stooped to die; yes, to die on a cross.
It is in consequence of this that God has also so highly exalted Him, and has conferred on Him the Name which is supreme above every other,
in order that in the Name of JESUS every knee should bow, of beings in Heaven, of those on the earth, and of those in the underworld,
and that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dearly-loved friends, as I have always found you obedient, labour earnestly with fear and trembling--not merely as though I were present with you, but much more now since I am absent from you--labour earnestly, I say, to make sure of your own salvation.
For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire.
Be ever on your guard against a grudging and contentious spirit,
so that you may always prove yourselves to be blameless and spotless--irreproachable children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as heavenly lights in the world,
holding out to them a Message of Life. It will then be my glory on the day of Christ that I did not run my race in vain nor toil in vain.
Nay, even if my life is to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I rejoice, and I congratulate you all.
And I bid you also share my gladness, and congratulate me.
But, if the Lord permits it, I hope before long to send Timothy to you, that I, in turn, may be cheered by getting news of you.
For I have no one likeminded with him, who will cherish a genuine care for you.
Everybody concerns himself about his own interests, not about those of Jesus Christ.
But you know Timothy's approved worth--how, like a child working with his father, he has served with me in furtherance of the Good News.
So it is he that I hope to send as soon as ever I see how things go with me;
but trusting, as I do, in the Lord, I believe that I shall myself also come to you before long.
Yet I deem it important to send Epaphroditus to you now--he is my brother and comrade both in labour and in arms, and is your messenger who has ministered to my needs.
I send him because he is longing to see you all and is distressed at your having heard of his illness.
For it is true that he has been ill, and was apparently at the point of death; but God had pity on him, and not only on him, but also on me, to save me from having sorrow upon sorrow.
I am therefore all the more eager to send him, in the hope that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have the less sorrow.
Receive him therefore with heartfelt Christian joy, and hold in honour men like him;
because it was for the sake of Christ's work that he came so near death, hazarding, as he did, his very life in endeavouring to make good any deficiency that there might be in your gifts to me.