21Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,2.1 You have fellowship with the Spirit; or The Spirit has brought you into fellowship with one another. and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. 5The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:
6He always had the nature of God,
but he did not think that by force he should try to remain2.6 remain; or become. equal with God.
7Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
and appeared in human likeness.
8He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death —
his death on the cross.
9For this reason God raised him to the highest place above
and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
And so, in honour of the name of Jesus
all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below2.10 world below: It was thought that the dead continued to exist in a dark world under the ground.
will fall on their knees,
11and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12So then, dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, 13because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15
so that you may be innocent and pure as God's perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, 16as you offer them the message of life. If you do so, I shall have reason to be proud of you on the Day of Christ, because it will show that all my effort and work have not been wasted.
17Perhaps my life's blood is to be poured out like an offering on the sacrifice that your faith offers to God. If that is so, I am glad and share my joy with you all. 18In the same way, you too must be glad and share your joy with me.
19If it is the Lord's will, I hope that I will be able to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be encouraged by news about you. 20He is the only one who shares my feelings and who really cares about you. 21All the others are concerned only with their own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus Christ. 22And you yourselves know how he has proved his worth, how he and I, like a son and his father, have worked together for the sake of the gospel. 23So I hope to send him to you as soon as I know how things are going to turn out for me. 24And I trust in the Lord that I myself will be able to come to you soon.
25I have thought it necessary to send you our brother Epaphroditus, who has worked and fought by my side and who has served as your messenger in helping me. 26He is anxious to see you all and is very upset because you had heard that he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill and almost died. But God had pity on him, and not only on him but on me, too, and spared me an even greater sorrow. 28I am all the more eager, then, to send him to you, so that you will be glad again when you see him, and my own sorrow will disappear. 29Receive him, then, with joy, as a brother in the Lord. Show respect to all such people as he, 30because he risked his life and nearly died for the sake of the work of Christ, in order to give me the help that you yourselves could not give.
31In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, be joyful in your union with the Lord. I don't mind repeating what I have written before, and you will be safer if I do so. 2Watch out for those who do evil things, those dogs, those who insist on cutting the body. 3It is we, not they, who have received the true circumcision, for we worship God by means of his Spirit and rejoice in our life in union with Christ Jesus. We do not put any trust in external ceremonies. 4I could, of course, put my trust in such things. If anyone thinks they can trust in external ceremonies, I have even more reason to feel that way. 5
I was circumcised when I was a week old. I am an Israelite by birth, of the tribe of Benjamin, a pure-blooded Hebrew. As far as keeping the Jewish Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee, 6
and I was so zealous that I persecuted the church. As far as a person can be righteous by obeying the commands of the Law, I was without fault. 7But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ's sake. 8Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere refuse, so that I may gain Christ 9and be completely united with him. I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith. 10All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, 11in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.
12I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. 13Of course, my brothers and sisters, I really do not3.13 not; some manuscripts have not yet. think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. 14So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
15All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.
Keep on imitating me, my brothers and sisters. Pay attention to those who follow the right example that we have set for you. 18I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears: there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ's death on the cross. 19They are going to end up in hell, because their god is their bodily desires. They are proud of what they should be ashamed of, and they think only of things that belong to this world. 20We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. 21He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.
41So then, my brothers and sisters, how dear you are to me and how I miss you! How happy you make me, and how proud I am of you! This then, dear brothers and sisters, is how you should stand firm in your life in the Lord.
2Euodia and Syntyche, please, I beg you, try to agree as sisters in the Lord. 3And you too, my faithful partner, I want you to help these women; for they have worked hard with me to spread the gospel, together with Clement and all my other fellow-workers, whose names are in God's book of the living.
4May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!
5Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. 6Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
8In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable. 9Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.
10In my life in union with the Lord it is a great joy to me that after so long a time you once more had the chance of showing that you care for me. I don't mean that you had stopped caring for me — you just had no chance to show it. 11And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learnt to be satisfied with what I have. 12I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learnt this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. 13I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
14But it was very good of you to help me in my troubles. 15
You Philippians know very well that when I left Macedonia in the early days of preaching the Good News, you were the only church to help me; you were the only ones who shared my profits and losses. 16
More than once when I needed help in Thessalonica, you sent it to me. 17It is not that I just want to receive gifts; rather, I want to see profit added to your account. 18
Here, then, is my receipt for everything you have given me — and it has been more than enough! I have all I need now that Epaphroditus has brought me all your gifts. They are like a sweet-smelling offering to God, a sacrifice which is acceptable and pleasing to him. 19And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs. 20To our God and Father be the glory for ever and ever! Amen.
21Greetings to each one of God's people who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters here with me send you their greetings. 22All God's people here send greetings, especially those who belong to the Emperor's palace.
23May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.