(1) From Paul and Timothy, ministers (servants) of Jesus Christ, to God’s holy people in Jesus Christ in the city of Philippi of the Roman province of Macedonia, together with the overseers and deacons. (2) May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with grace and peace!
Thanksgiving and Prayer
(3) I thank my God whenever I think of you. (4) In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy (5) because of your partnership in the gospel (good news) of Christ from the first day you heard it from me until now. (6) For I have full confidence that God, who started a good work in you, will bring it to completion on the day (the second coming) of Jesus Christ.
(7) It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart and, whether I’m in chains or defending and confirming the gospel of Christ, all of you share in God’s grace together with me. (8) For God is my witness how my heart longs for all of you with the love of Jesus Christ.
(9) And I pray that your love will continue to grow more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, (10) so that you will be able to discern what is most excellent in this life, and will be found genuine and innocent on the day (the second coming) of Christ, (11) filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the majestic glory and praise of God!
The Advance of the Gospel in Rome
(12) Now, my brothers and sisters, I want you to know that my imprisonment in Rome has actually served to advance the gospel (good news) of Christ. (13) As a result, it has become clearly known throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (14) And because of my chains most of the believers in Rome have become confident in the Lord and are much more courageous in proclaiming the gospel of Christ without fear (intimidation)
(15) It is true that some people proclaim Christ out of jealousy and rivalry, but others proclaim him from a good heart. (16) The latter do so out of love, knowing that I have been imprisoned for the defending the gospel of Christ. (17) However, the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition and are insincere, because they only want to stir up trouble for me while I’m in chains. (18) But it does not matter to me. The most important thing to me is that in every way, whether from false or true motives, Christ is proclaimed—and because of this I rejoice.
To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, (19) because I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ I will be set free from these Roman chains. (20) I hope with eager expectation that I will in no way be ashamed, but I will have full courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body—whether I live or die. (21) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (22) Now if I continue to live in this world (in the body), this will mean a fruitful ministry for me. But what should I choose? I’m conflicted: I don’t know which one I want! (23) I’m torn between life and death, because my desire is to die and be with Christ, which is much better for me; (24) but it will be much better for you that I remain living in this world (in the body). (25) Therefore I am convinced that I will keep on living with all of you for your progress (growth) and joy in the faith, (26) so that through my being with you again in Philippi your praise in Jesus Christ will abound on account of me.
Living a Life Worthy of the Gospel
(27) Whatever happens, live in a manner that is worthy of the gospel (good news) of Christ, so that whether I come to see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you are standing strong in one Spirit, contending together as one for the faith of the gospel of Christ. (28) Do not be afraid (intimidated) in any way of people who oppose you, because this is clear proof (a sign) to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved by God. (29) For the privilege has been given to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, (30) because you are going through the same battle (struggle) you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.