1From Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and deacons. 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Prayer for the Church
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you 5because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7For it is right for me to think this about all of you, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you became partners in God’s grace together with me. 8For God is my witness that I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight 10so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Ministry as a Prisoner
12I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 13The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ, 14and most of the brothers and sisters, having confidence in the Lord because of my imprisonment, now more than ever dare to speak the word fearlessly.
15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16The latter do so from love because they know that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment. 18What is the result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die. 21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: 23I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 24but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body. 25And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that what you can be proud of may increase because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you.
27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28and by not being intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of their destruction, but of your salvation – a sign which is from God. 29For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him, 30since you are encountering the same conflict that you saw me face and now hear that I am facing.