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.
3我每逢想起你们，就感谢我的上帝。 4每次为你们众人祷告的时候，我心里都很喜乐。 5因为你们从开始直到现在，一直和我同心合意地传扬福音。 6我深信，上帝既然在你们心里开始了这美好的工作，祂必在耶稣基督再来的时候完成这工作。 7我对你们众人有这样的感受是很自然的，因为我常把你们放在心上1:7 “我常把你们放在心上”或译“你们常把我放在心上”。。不论我是身在狱中，还是为福音辩护和作证的时候，你们都与我同蒙恩典。 8上帝可以作证，我是怎样以基督耶稣的慈爱之心想念你们。
9我所祈求的就是：你们的爱心随着属灵知识的增加和辨别力的提高而日益增长， 10使你们知道怎样择善而从，做诚实无过的人，一直到基督再来的日子， 11并靠着耶稣基督结满仁义的果子，使上帝得到荣耀与颂赞。
12弟兄姊妹，我希望你们知道，我的遭遇反而会使福音传得更广， 13连所有的皇家卫兵和其他众人都知道我是为了基督的缘故而受囚禁。 14大多数主内的弟兄姊妹看见我为主被囚，信心受到鼓舞，更加放胆无惧地传扬上帝的道。 15当然，有些人宣讲基督是出于嫉妒和争强好胜，也有些人是出于善意。 16后者是出于爱心，知道我是上帝派来维护福音的。 17前者传讲基督是出于个人野心，动机不纯，以为可以增加我在狱中的痛苦。 18那又怎样呢？无论他们传福音是真心还是假意，基督的福音毕竟传开了，因此我很欢喜，而且欢喜不已。 19因为我知道，借着你们的祷告和耶稣基督之灵的帮助，我终会得到释放。
20我殷切地期待和盼望：我不会感到任何羞愧，而是放胆无惧，不管是生是死，都要一如既往地使基督在我身上得到尊崇。 21因为对我来说，活着是为了基督，死了也有益处。 22如果活在世上，我可以做工，多结果子。我真不知道该怎么选择！ 23我处在两难之间。我情愿离开世界，与基督在一起，那实在是再好不过了。 24可是为了你们，我应该活在世上。 25我既然对此深信不疑，就知道自己仍要活下去，继续跟你们在一起，好使你们在信仰上又长进又充满喜乐。 26这样，我再到你们那里的时候，你们可以因为我的缘故更加以基督耶稣为荣。
27最要紧的是：你们行事为人要与基督的福音相称。这样，不管是去看你们，还是只听到你们的消息，我都能知道你们同心合意，坚定不移地一起为福音奋斗， 28毫不惧怕敌人的恐吓。这清楚表明他们必灭亡，你们必得救，这是出于上帝。 29因为上帝为了基督的缘故，赐恩使你们不但信基督，而且为祂受苦， 30经历你们从前在我身上见过，现在又从我这里听到的同样争战。