If our life in Christ means anything to you—if love, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness or sympathy can persuade you at all—then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing that would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit, but everybody is to be humble: value others over yourselves, each of you thinking of the interests of others before your own. Your attitude must be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Christ, though in the image of God,
didn’t deem equality with God
something to be clung to—
but instead became completely empty
and took on the image of oppressed humankind:
born into the human condition,
found in the likeness of a human being.
Jesus was thus humbled—
obediently accepting death, even death on a cross!
Because of this, God highly exalted Christ
and gave to Jesus the name above every other name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God:
Jesus Christ reigns supreme!
Therefore, my dear friends, you who are always obedient to my urging, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, not only when I happen to be with you, but all the more now that I’m absent. It is God at work in you that creates the desire to do God’s will.
In everything you do, act without grumbling or arguing; prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach, in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation—among which you shine like stars in the sky, while holding fast to the word of life. As I look to the day of Christ, you give me cause to boast, proving that I didn’t run the race in vain or work to no purpose. Even if my life is to be poured out like a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I’m glad of it and rejoice with all of you. May you be glad for the same reason, and rejoice with me!