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1PAUL and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, to all true Christians at Philippi and to their bishops and deacons,

2grace and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ the Lord!

3I thank my God for you whenever I think of you.

4My constant prayers for you are a real joy,

5because we have worked together for the gospel from the first day until the present.

6I am confident of this: that the One who has begun his good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ.

7It is only natural that I should feel like this about you allyou are very dear to me. For during the time I was in prison as well as when I was defending and proving the authority of the gospel we shared together the grace of God.

8God knows how much I long, with the deep love and affection of Christ Jesus, for your companionship.

9My prayer for you is that you may have still more lovea love that is full of knowledge and every wise insight.

10I want you to be able always to recognise the highest and the best, and to live sincere and blameless lives until the day of Christ.

11I want to see your lives full of true goodness, produced by the power that Jesus Christ gives you to the glory and praise of God.

12Now I want you to know, my brothers, that what has happened to me has, in effect, turned out to the advantage of the gospel

13For, first of all, my imprisonment means a personal witness for Christ before the palace guards, not to mention others who come and go.

14Then, it means that most of our brothers, taking fresh heart in the Lord from the very fact that I am a prisoner for Christ's sake, have shown far more courage in boldly proclaiming the Word of God.

15I know that some are preaching Christ out of jealousy, in order to annoy me, but some are preaching him in good faith.

16(1:17) These latter are preaching out of their love for me. For they know that I am here to defend the gospel.

17(1:16) The motive of the former is questionablethey preach in a partisan spirit, hoping to make my chains even more galling than they are.

18But what does it matter? However they may look at it, the fact remains that Christ's being preached, whether sincerely or not, and that fact makes me very happy. Yes, and I shall go on being happy,

19for I know that what is happening will result in my release, thanks to your prayers and the resources of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

20It all accords with my own earnest wishes and hopes, which are that I should never be in any way ashamed, but that now, as always, I should honour Christ with the utmost boldness by the way I live, whether that means I am to face death or to go on living.

21For living to me means simply "Christ", and if I die I should merely gain more of him.

22For me to go on living in this world may serve some good purpose. I should find it very hard to make a choice.

23I am torn in two directionson the one hand I long to leave this world and live with Christ, and that is obviously the best thing for me.

24Yet, on the other hand, it is probably more necessary for you that I should stay here on earth.

25Because I am sure of this, I know that I shall remain and continue to stand by you all, to help you forward in Christian living and to find increasing joy in your faith.

26So that you may feel great pride in me as your minister in Christ when I come and see you again!

27But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ So that whether I do come and see you, or merely hear about you from a distance, I may know that you are standing fast in a united spirit, battling with a single mind for the faith of the gospel

28and not caring two straws for your enemies. The fact that they are your enemies is plain proof that they are lost to God, while the fact that you have such men as enemies is plain proof that you yourselves are being saved by God.

29You are given the privilege not merely of believing in Christ but also of suffering for his sake.

30Now you are taking part in that battle you once saw me fight, and which, as you hear, I am still fighting.

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