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Chapter 1

1Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the devoted adherents of Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the superintendents and assistants; 2God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and give you peace.

3I never think of you without thanking my God, 4and always whenever I pray for you all I do it with joy, 5over your co-operation in the good news from the day you first received it until now. 6For I am certain that he who has begun the good work in you will finish it for the Day of Jesus Christ. 7And I have a right to feel in this way about you all, because both when I am in prison and when I am defending and vindicating our right to preach the good news, I have you in my heart as all sharing that privilege with me. 8For God is my witness how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus himself. 9And it is my prayer that your love may grow richer and richer in knowledge and perfect insight, 10so that you may have a sense of what is vital, and may be men of transparent character and blameless life, in preparation for the Day of Christ, 11with your lives filled with the fruits which uprightness produces through Jesus Christ, to the honor and praise of God.

12Now I want to assure you, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in furthering the preaching of the good news. 13Thus it is generally known throughout the Imperial Guard and elsewhere that it is for the sake of Christ that I am in prison, 14and so most of the Christian brothers have been exceedingly encouraged by my example to declare God’s message without any fear of the consequences.

15Some of them, it is true, are actually preaching the Christ from jealousy and partisanship, but there are others who are doing it out of good-will. 16These latter do it from love for me, for they know that God has put me where I am to defend our right to preach the good news. 17But the others are preaching the Christ not sincerely but for their own ends, imagining that they are making my imprisonment harder to bear.

18But what difference does it make? All that matters is that, in one way or another, from false motives or honest ones, Christ is being made known; I am glad of that. Yes, and I expect to be glad, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, all this will turn out for my highest welfare, 20for I eagerly and confidently hope that I shall never disgrace myself but that this time as always hitherto, living or dying, I shall do Christ credit by my unfailing courage.

21For, as I see it, living means Christ and dying something even better. 22But if living on here means having my labor bear fruit, I cannot tell which to choose. 23I am undecided between the two, for I long to depart and be with Christ, for that is far, far better, 24and yet your needs make it very necessary for me to stay on here. 25I am convinced of this, and so I know that I shall stay on and serve you all, to help you to develop and to be glad in your faith. 26So you will find in me fresh cause for Christian exultation, through having me with you again.

27Whatever happens, show yourselves citizens worthy of the good news of the Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am kept away and only hear news of you, I may know that you are standing firm with one spirit, one purpose, fighting side by side for faith in the good news. 28Never for a moment falter before your opponents, for your fearlessness will be a sure sign for them of their coming destruction, but to you it will be an omen, from God himself, of your deliverance. 29For you have been granted the privilege not only of trusting in Christ but of suffering for him. 30Take your part in the same struggle that you have seen me engage in and that you hear I am still keeping up.

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