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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Philippians

(Return to New Testament Contents)


v.1-11 Imitating Christ's Humility
v.12-18 Do Everything Without Grumbling
v.19-24 Hopes to send Timothy soon
v.25-30 Returning Epaphroditus


[Chapter 2 Synopsis: keep on growing in servant humility, maintaining and building peace and unity so you stand out for Christ. We're hoping to send Timothy to you soon but are returning Epaphroditus to you now.]



v.1-11 Imitating Christ's Humility

[Passage Synopsis: Assuming you've been richly blessed by being ‘in Christ', let love build an even stronger unity, looking up to one another with Christ's servant-hearted humility, and develop the same obedience that resulted in him being exalted and honoured in heaven with the Father.]


v.1,2 (thinking of all you've received from being ‘in Christ', then be of one mind with one love and one Spirit) Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

v.3,4 (don't be selfish but instead in humility look up to others, caring for them) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

v.5 (think in the same way as Christ) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as + Christ Jesus:

v.6,7 (for remember although he was God he came as a servant in human likeness) Who, being in very nature God,   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing   by taking the very nature of a servant,   being made in human likeness.

v.8 (and he humbled himself, even to die for us) And being found in appearance as a man,   he humbled himself   by becoming obedient to death—   even death on a cross! +

v.9-11 (so his Father has lifted him and his name above anyone else so every living being will eventually have to bow before him and worship him ) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place   and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,   to the glory of God the Father.



v.12-18 Do Everything Without Grumbling

[Passage Synopsis: Whether or not I'm with you, keep going all out as God works out His purposes in you, making sure you maintain peace and unity so you stand out in this world, to bless me so we can rejoice together.]


v.12,13 (so keep at working on this salvation of yours as God works in you to achieve His purposes) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

v.14-16 (do it without objection or dispute so you will stand out in this world today, to confirm I didn't waste my time) Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” [Deut. 32:5] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.

v.17 (if my life is just being poured out for Him, I rejoice) But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.

v.18 (so rejoice with me) So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.



v.19-24 Hopes to send Timothy soon

[Passage Synopsis: I'm hoping to be able to send Timothy to you soon to send me news, who stands out as my fellow worker concerned for you.]


v.19 (I want to send Timothy soon) I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.

v.20,21 (he's unique in his concern for you) I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

v.22 (but he's a proven worker for the gospel) But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

v.23 (we'll have to see what transpires but I hope he can come soon) I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.

v.24 (and I will as well, I'm sure) And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.



v.25-30 Returning Epaphroditus

[Passage Synopsis: We're sending you back your messenger Epaphroditus who you sent to help me. Yes, he's been seriously ill here but has recovered, and so longs to see you that we're sending him back to bless you.]


v.25 (but your messenger, Epaphroditus who you sent to bless me, can come back) But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.

v.26 (he longs to see you and reassure you) For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.

v.27 (for yes, indeed he was very ill but he's recovered now) Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.

v.28 (so when I send him to you, you can be blessed by him) Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.

v.29,30 (so when he comes bless and honour him for what he's been through) So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honour people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.



Continue to Chapter 3