1We, Paul and Timothy, are writing this letter. We serve Christ Jesus.
We are sending this letter to you, all God’s holy 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. 6God began a good work in you. And I am sure that he 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 is my 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. Then you will be pure and without blame for the day that Christ returns. 11You will be filled with the fruit of right living produced by Jesus Christ. All these things bring glory and praise to God.
Paul Spreads the Good News While in Prison
12Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know. What has happened to me has actually helped to spread the good news. 13One thing has become clear. I am being held by chains because I am a witness for Christ. All the palace guards and everyone else know it. 14And because I am a prisoner, most of the believers have become bolder in the Lord. They now dare even more to preach the good news 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 be a witness for the good news. 17But the others preach about Christ only to get ahead. They preach Christ for the wrong reasons. 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 right or wrong reasons, 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 God will give me the Spirit of Jesus Christ to help me. So no matter what happens, I’m sure I will still be set free. 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 receive glory because of what happens to me. He will receive glory whether I live or die. 21For me, life finds all 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 this. So I know I will remain with you. And I will continue with all of you to help you grow in your faith. I will also continue to help you be joyful in what you have been taught. 26I’m sure I will be with you again. Then you will be able to boast in Christ Jesus even more because of me.
Living to Honor the Good News
27No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then I will know that you remain strong together in the one Spirit. I will know this if I come and see you or only hear about you. I will know that you work together as one person. I will know that you work to spread the teachings about the good news. 28So don’t be afraid in any way of those who oppose you. This 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.