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我每逢想起你們，就感謝我的上帝。 4每次為你們眾人禱告的時候，我心裡都很喜樂。 5因為你們從開始直到現在，一直和我同心合意地傳揚福音。 6我深信，上帝既然在你們心裡開始了這美好的工作，祂必在耶穌基督再來的時候完成這工作。 7我對你們眾人有這樣的感受是很自然的，因為我常把你們放在心上1·7 「我常把你們放在心上」或譯「你們常把我放在心上」。。不論我是身在獄中，還是為福音辯護和作證的時候，你們都與我同蒙恩典。 8上帝可以作證，我是怎樣以基督耶穌的慈愛之心想念你們。
9我所祈求的就是：你們的愛心隨著屬靈知識的增加和辨別力的提高而日益增長， 10使你們知道怎樣擇善而從，做誠實無過的人，一直到基督再來的日子， 11並靠著耶穌基督結滿仁義的果子，使上帝得到榮耀與頌讚。
12弟兄姊妹，我希望你們知道，我的遭遇反而會使福音傳得更廣， 13連所有的皇家衛兵和其他眾人都知道我是為了基督的緣故而受囚禁。 14大多數主內的弟兄姊妹看見我為主被囚，信心受到鼓舞，更加放膽無懼地傳揚上帝的道。 15當然，有些人宣講基督是出於嫉妒和爭強好勝，也有些人是出於善意。 16後者是出於愛心，知道我是上帝派來維護福音的。 17前者傳講基督是出於個人野心，動機不純，以為可以增加我在獄中的痛苦。 18那又怎樣呢？無論他們傳福音是真心還是假意，基督的福音畢竟傳開了，因此我很歡喜，而且歡喜不已。 19因為我知道，藉著你們的禱告和耶穌基督之靈的幫助，我終會得到釋放。
20我殷切地期待和盼望：我不會感到任何羞愧，而是放膽無懼，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因為對我來說，活著是為了基督，死了也有益處。 22如果活在世上，我可以做工，多結果子。我真不知道該怎麼選擇！ 23我處在兩難之間。我情願離開世界，與基督在一起，那實在是再好不過了。 24可是為了你們，我應該活在世上。 25我既然對此深信不疑，就知道自己仍要活下去，繼續跟你們在一起，好使你們在信仰上又長進又充滿喜樂。 26這樣，我再到你們那裡的時候，你們可以因為我的緣故更加以基督耶穌為榮。
27最要緊的是：你們行事為人要與基督的福音相稱。這樣，不管是去看你們，還是只聽到你們的消息，我都能知道你們同心合意，堅定不移地一起為福音奮鬥， 28毫不懼怕敵人的恐嚇。這清楚表明他們必滅亡，你們必得救，這是出於上帝。 29因為上帝為了基督的緣故，賜恩使你們不但信基督，而且為祂受苦， 30經歷你們從前在我身上見過，現在又從我這裡聽到的同樣爭戰。