Jul. 10, 2022
New Living Translation
Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people ….
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.
8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.
10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation— the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ[b]— for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
PAUL’S JOY THAT CHRIST IS PREACHED
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters,[c] that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard,[d] knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers[e] here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message[f] without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.
17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
PAUL’S LIFE FOR CHRIST
20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.
LIVE AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN
27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.
HAVE THE ATTITUDE OF CHRIST
2 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?
Any comfort from his love?
Any fellowship together in the Spirit?
Are your hearts tender and compassionate?
2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God, [g] he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[h] ; he took the humble position of a slave[i] and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, [j]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
SHINE BRIGHTLY FOR CHRIST
12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God,[k] just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
PAUL COMMENDS TIMOTHY
19 If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along.
20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. 21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.
22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. 23 I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here.
24 And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.
PAUL COMMENDS EPAPHRODITUS
25 Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need.
26 I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill.
27 And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.
28 So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you.
29 Welcome him in the Lord’s love[l] and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve.
30 For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.