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.]
Imitating Christ's Humility
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.]
(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.
(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.
(think in the same way
as Christ) In
your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as
(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.
(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!
(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.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
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.]
(so keep at working on
this salvation of yours as God works in you to achieve His purposes)
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.
(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.
(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.
(so rejoice with me)
So you too
should be glad and rejoice with me.
Hopes to send Timothy soon
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
(I want to send Timothy
hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also
may be cheered when I receive news about you.
(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.
(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.
(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
(and I will as well,
I'm sure) And
I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
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.]
(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.
(he longs to see you
and reassure you) For
he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he
(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.
(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.
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.
to Chapter 3