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,1
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for it is God who works in you2 to will and to act according to his good purpose.3
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Do everything without complaining4 or arguing,
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so that you may become blameless5 and pure, children of God6 without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,7 in which you shine like stars in the universe
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as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ8 that I did not run9 or labor for nothing.10
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But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering11 on the sacrifice12 and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.13
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So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy14 to you soon,15 that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.
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I have no one else like him,16 who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.
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For everyone looks out for his own interests,17 not those of Jesus Christ.
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But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father18 he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
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I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.19
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And I am confident20 in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
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But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker21 and fellow soldier,22 who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.23
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For he longs for all of you24 and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
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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.
Therefore I am all the more eager to send him,25 so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.
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Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him,26
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because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.27
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