Greetings from Paul and Timothy
(Colossians 1:1–2; Philemon 1:1–3)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
(1 Corinthians 1:4–9; Colossians 1:3–14)
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart. For in my chains and in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partners in grace with me. 8 God is my witness how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to test and prove what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Trials Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that my circumstances have actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard a and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, confident in the Lord by my chains, now dare more greatly to speak the word b without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. c 17 The former, however, preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can add to the distress of my chains.
18 What then is the issue? d Just this: that in every way, whether by false motives or true, Christ is preached. And in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 because I know that through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, my distress will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
To Live Is Christ
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. 23 I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed. 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 will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my coming to you again your exultation in Christ Jesus will resound on account of me.
Worthy of the Gospel
27 Nevertheless, 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 one spirit, contending side by side e for the faith of the gospel, 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a clear sign of their destruction but of your salvation, and it is from God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, 30 since you are encountering the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
13 a Or all the Praetorium
14 b NE and WH the word of God
16 c BYZ and TR reverse the order of verses 16 and 17.
18 d Literally What then?
27 e Or striving together with one mind