1 Greetings from Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ.
To all of you in Philippi who are God’s holy people in Christ Jesus, including your elders[a] and special servants.
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank God every time I remember you. 4 And I always pray for all of you with joy. 5 I thank God for the help you gave me while I told people the Good News. You helped from the first day you believed until now. 6 I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again.
7 I know I am right to think like this about all of you because you are so close to my heart. This is because you have all played such an important part in God’s grace to me—now, during this time that I am in prison, and whenever I am defending and proving the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows that I want very much to see you. I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus.
9 This is my prayer for you:
that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10 that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; 11 that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.
Paul’s Troubles Help the Lord’s Work
12 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that all that has happened to me has helped to spread the Good News. 13 All the Roman guards and all the others here know that I am in prison for serving Christ. 14 My being in prison has caused most of the believers to put their trust in the Lord and to show more courage in telling people God’s message.
15 Some people are telling the message about Christ because they are jealous and bitter. Others do it because they want to help. 16 They are doing it out of love. They know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. 17 But those others tell about Christ because of their selfish ambition. Their reason for doing it is wrong. They only do it because they think it will make trouble for me in prison. 18 But that doesn’t matter. What is important is that they are telling people about Christ, whether they are sincere or not. So I am glad they are doing it.
I will continue to be glad, 19 because I know that your prayers and the help the Spirit of Jesus Christ gives me will cause this trouble to result in my freedom.[b] 20 I am full of hope and feel sure I will not have any reason to be ashamed. I am certain I will continue to have the same boldness to speak freely that I always have. I will let God use my life to bring more honor to Christ. It doesn’t matter whether I live or die. 21 To me, the only important thing about living is Christ. And even death would be for my benefit.[c] 22 If I continue living here on earth, I will be able to work for the Lord. But what would I choose—to live or to die? I don’t know. 23 It would be a hard choice. Sometimes I want to leave this life and be with Christ. That would be much better for me; 24 however, you people need me here alive. 25 I am sure of this, so I know that I will stay here and be with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith. 26 When I am there with you again, you will be bursting with pride over what Christ Jesus did to help me.
27 Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News. 28 And you will not be afraid of those who are against you. All of this is proof from God that you are being saved and that your enemies will be lost. 29 God has blessed you in ways that serve Christ. He allowed you to believe in Christ. But that is not all. He has also given you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both of these bring glory to Christ. 30 You saw the difficulties I had to face, and you hear that I am still having troubles. Now you must face them too.
New International Version
1 Paul and Timothy,(A) servants of Christ Jesus,
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.(F)
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you.(G) 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray(H) with joy 5 because of your partnership(I) in the gospel from the first day(J) until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion(K) until the day of Christ Jesus.(L)
7 It is right(M) for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart(N) and, whether I am in chains(O) or defending(P) and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify(Q) how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love(R) may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,(S) 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,(T) 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness(U) that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains(V) for Christ. 14 And because of my chains,(W) most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.(X)
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.(Y) 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition,(Z) not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.(AA) 18 But 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, 19 for I know that through your prayers(AB) and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ(AC) what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d](AD) 20 I eagerly expect(AE) and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage(AF) so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,(AG) whether by life or by death.(AH) 21 For to me, to live is Christ(AI) and to die is gain. 22 If 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! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart(AJ) and be with Christ,(AK) which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy(AL) 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(AM) in the one Spirit,[e] striving together(AN) as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without 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. 29 For it has been granted to you(AO) on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer(AP) for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle(AQ) you saw(AR) I had, and now hear(AS) that I still have.
- Philippians 1:1 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.
- Philippians 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.
- Philippians 1:13 Or whole palace
- Philippians 1:19 Or vindication; or salvation
- Philippians 1:27 Or in one spirit