1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons1:1 The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in Romans 16:1 and 1 Tim. 3:8,12.:
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure 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.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,1:12 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21. that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard1:13 Or whole palace and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.1:19 Or vindication; or salvation 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,1:27 Or in one spirit striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
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。