Letter to the Philippians
1 From Paul and Timothy, ser vants of Christ Jesus, to the saints in Philippi, with their bishops and deacons;
1 to you all in Christ Jesus:
2 May grace and peace be yours from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus the Lord.
3 I give thanks to my God each time I remember you, 4 and when I pray for you, I pray with joy. 5 I cannot forget all you shared with me in the service of the Gospel, from the first day until now. 6 Since God be gan such a good work in you, I am certain that he will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.
7 This is my hope for you, for I carry you all in my heart: whether I am in prison or defending and confirming the Gospel, you are with me and share the same grace.
8 God knows that I love you dearly with the love of Christ Jesus, 9 and in my prayers I ask that your love may lead you each day to a deeper knowledge and clearer discernment, 10 that you may have good criteria for every thing. So you may be pure of heart and come blameless to the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of holiness that comes through Christ Jesus, for the glory and praise of God.
Christ is my life
12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has hap pened to me has served to advance the Gospel. 13 Actually the whole praetorian guard, and even those outside the palace, know that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And what is more, my condition as prisoner has encouraged most of our brothers who are now emboldened to proclaim the Word of God more openly and without fear.
15 Some, it is true, are moved by envy and rivalry, but others preach Christ with a good intention. 16 These latter are moved by love and realize that I am here to defend the Gospel. 17 The others announce Christ to challenge me. They do not act with a pure intention but think they are making my prison more unbearable. 18 But in any case, whether they are sincere or showing off, Christ is proclaimed and because of this I rejoice and have no regrets.
19 I know that all this will be a grace for me be cause of your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Christ. 20 I am hopeful, even certain, that I shall not be ashamed. I feel as assured now, as before, that Christ will be exalted through my person, whether I live or die.
21 For to me, living is Christ, and dying is gain. 22 But if I am to go on living, I shall be able to enjoy fruitful labor. Which shall I choose? 23 So I feel torn between the two. I desire greatly to leave this life and to be with Christ, which will be better by far, 24 but it is necessary for you that I remain in this life. 25 And because I am convinced of this, I know that I will stay and remain with you for your progress and happiness in the faith. 26 I will surely come to you again, and give you more reason for being proud of belonging to Christ Jesus.
Stand firm in faith
27 Try, then, to adjust your lives according to the Gospel of Christ. May I see it when I come to you, and if I cannot come, may I at least hear that you stand firm in the same spirit, striving to up hold the faith of the Gospel with one heart. 28 Do not be afraid of your opponents. This will be a sign that they are defeated and you are saved, that is saved by God. 29 For through Christ you have been granted not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him. 30 And you now share the same struggle that you saw I had and that I continue to have, as you know.