Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Christ Jesus: To all God’s people in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the ministers of the Church and their assistants.
May grace and peace be granted to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God at my every remembrance of you–
always when offering any prayer on behalf of you all, finding a joy in offering it.
I thank my God, I say, for your cooperation in spreading the Good News, from the time it first came to you even until now.
For of this I am confident, that He who has begun a good work within you will go on to perfect it in preparation for the day of Jesus Christ.
And I am justified in having this confidence about you all, because, both during my imprisonment and when I stand up in defence of the Good News or to confirm its truth, I have you in my heart, sharers as you all are in the same grace as myself.
For God is my witness how I yearn over all of you with tender Christian affection.
And it is my prayer that your love may be more and more accompanied by clear knowledge and keen perception, for testing things that differ,
so that you may be men of transparent character, and may be blameless, in preparation for the day of Christ,
being filled with these fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ– to the glory and praise of God.
Now I would have you know, brethren, that what I have gone through has turned out to the furtherance of the Good News rather than otherwise.
And thus it has become notorious among all the Imperial Guards, and everywhere, that it is for the sake of Christ that I am a prisoner;
and the greater part of the brethren, made confident in the Lord through my imprisonment, now speak of God’s Message without fear, more boldly than ever.
Some indeed actually preach Christ out of envy and contentiousness but there are also others who do it from good will.
These latter preach Him from love to me, knowing that I am here for the defence of the Good News;
while the others proclaim Him from motives of rivalry, and insincerely, supposing that by this they are embittering my imprisonment.
What does it matter, however? In any case Christ is preached–either perversely or in honest truth; and in that I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
For I know that it will result in my salvation through your prayers and a bountiful supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ,
in fulfilment of my eager expectation and hope that I shall never have reason to feel ashamed, but that by my perfect freedom of speech Christ will be glorified in me, now as always, either by my life or by my death.
For, with me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
But since to live means a longer stay on earth, that implies more labour for me–and not unsuccessful labour; and which I am to choose I cannot tell.
I am in a dilemma, my earnest desire being to depart and be with Christ, for that is far, far better.
But for your sakes it is more important that I should still remain in the body.
I am convinced of this, and I know that I shall remain, and shall go on working side by side with you all, to promote your progress and joy in the faith;
so that, as Christians, you may have additional reason for glorying about me as the result of my being with you again.
Only let the lives you live be worthy of the Good News of the Christ, in order that, whether I come and see you or, being absent, only hear of you, I may know that you are standing fast in one spirit and with one mind, fighting shoulder to shoulder for the faith of the Good News.
Never for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your fearlessness will be to them a sure token of impending destruction, but to you it will be a sure token of your salvation–a token coming from God.
For you have had the privilege granted you on behalf of Christ–not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf;
maintaining, as you do, the same kind of conflict that you once saw in me and which you still hear that I am engaged in.