ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 242



230
IMMERSE

MESSIAH
2:19–3:8
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. I have
no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the
others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.
But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father,
he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him
to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And
I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.
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. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you,
and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. 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.
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. Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor
that people like him deserve. 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.
Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I
never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your
faith.
Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators
who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by
the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on
what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed,
if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen
of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there
ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest
obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the
church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them
worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is





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