1We, Paul and Timothy, are writing this letter. We serve Christ Jesus. We are sending this letter to you, all of God's people in Philippi. You belong to Christ Jesus. We are also sending this letter to your leaders and deacons.2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
3I thank my God every time I remember you.4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.5I am happy because you have joined me in spreading the good news. You have done so from the first day until now.6I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you. I love you with all my heart. I may be held by chains, or I may be standing up for the truth of the good news. Either way, all of you share in God's grace together with me.8God can give witness that I long for all of you. I love you with the love that Christ Jesus gives.9I pray that your love will grow more and more. And let it be based on knowledge and understanding.10Then you will be able to know what is best. You will be pure and without blame until the day Christ returns.11You will be filled with the fruit of right living produced by Jesus Christ. All of those things bring glory and praise to God.
Paul Honors Christ in Prison
12Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know. What has happened to me has really helped to spread the good news.13One thing has become clear. I am being held by chains because of my stand for Christ. All of the palace guards and everyone else know it.14Because I am being held by chains, most of the believers in the Lord have become bolder. They now speak God's word more boldly and without fear.15It's true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous. But others preach about Christ to help me in my work.16The last group acts out of love. They know I have been put here to stand up for the good news.17But the others preach about Christ only to get ahead. They are not honest and true. They think they can stir up trouble for me while I am being held by chains.18But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.19I know that you are praying for me. I also know that the Spirit of Jesus Christ will help me. So no matter what happens, I'm sure I will still be saved.20I completely expect and hope that I won't be ashamed in any way. I'm sure I will be brave enough. Now as always Christ will be lifted high through my body. He will be lifted up whether I live or die.21For me, life finds all of its meaning in Christ. Death also has its benefits.22Suppose I go on living in my body. Then I will be able to carry on my work. It will bear a lot of fruit. But what should I choose? I don't know.23I can't decide between the two. I long to leave this world and be with Christ. That is better by far.24But it is more important for you that I stay alive.25I'm sure of that. So I know I will remain with you. And I will continue with all of you to help you grow and be joyful in what you have been taught.26I'm sure I will be with you again. Then your joy in Christ Jesus will be greater than ever because of me.27No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then I will know that you stand firm with one purpose. I may come and see you or only hear about you. But I will know that you work together as one person. And I will know that you work to spread the teachings of the good news.28So don't be afraid in any way of those who oppose you. That will show them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved. That's what God will do.29Here is what he has given you to do for Christ. You must not only believe in him. You must also suffer for him.30You are going through the same struggle you saw me go through. As you have heard, I am still struggling.
English Standard Version
1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: (Ac 20:28; 2Co 1:1; Col 1:2; 1Ti 3:8; 1Ti 3:12)2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:3)
12I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (Php 1:25; 1Ti 4:15)13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (Lu 21:13; Ac 28:30; Php 1:7; 2Ti 2:9)14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Ac 4:31)15Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. (2Co 11:13)16The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (1Co 9:17; Php 1:7)17The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. (Php 2:3; Jas 3:14)
To Live Is Christ
18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, (Ac 16:7; 2Co 1:11; Ga 3:5)20as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Joe 2:27; Ac 4:13; Ro 5:5; Ro 14:8; 1Co 6:20; 2Ti 2:15)21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Ga 2:20)22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.23I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (Joh 12:26; 2Co 5:8; 2Ti 4:6)24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, (Ac 20:25; Ro 15:13; Php 1:12; Php 2:24)26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. (2Co 1:14)27Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, (1Co 1:10; 1Co 16:13; Eph 4:1; Php 2:2; Php 3:20; Jud 1:3)28and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. (Ac 14:22; 2Th 1:5)29For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, (Mt 5:12; Php 1:28)30engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Ac 16:19; Col 1:29; Col 2:1; 1Th 2:2; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 4:7; Heb 10:32)