Philippians 1

1Greetings from Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ. To all of God’s holy people in Christ Jesus that live in Philippi. And to all your elders and special helpers. 2Grace ˻(kindness)˼ and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3I thank God every time I remember you. 4And I always pray for all of you with joy. 5I thank God for the help you gave me while I told people the Good News. You helped from the first day you believed until now. 6God began doing good things with you. And God is continuing that work in you. God will finish that work in you when Jesus Christ comes again. I am sure of that. 7And I know that I am right to think like this about all of you. I am sure because I have you in my heart—I feel very close to you. I feel close to you because all of you share in God’s grace ˻(kindness)˼ with me. You share in God’s grace with me while I am in prison, while I am defending the Good News, and while I am proving the truth of the Good News. 8God knows that I want to see you very much. I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus. 9This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11that you will do many good things with the help of Christ to bring glory and praise to God. 12Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that those bad things that happened to me have helped to spread the Good News. 13It is clear why I am in prison. I am in prison because I am a believer in Christ. All the Roman guards know this, and so do all the other people. 14I am still in prison, but most of the believers feel better about it now. And so they are much braver about telling people the message ˻about Christ˼. 15Some people preach about Christ because they are jealous and bitter. Other people preach about Christ because they want to help. 16These people preach because they have love. They know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. 17But those other people preach about Christ because they are selfish. Their reason for preaching is wrong. They want to make trouble for me in prison. 18I don’t care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are telling people about Christ. I want them to tell people about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for false and wrong reasons. I am happy because they tell people about Christ, and I will continue to be happy. 19You are praying for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me. So I know that this trouble will bring my freedom. 20The thing I want and hope for is that I will not fail Christ in anything. I hope that I will have the courage now, like always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth. I want to do that if I die or if I live. 21I mean that to me the only important thing about living is Christ. And even death would be profit for me. 22If I continue living in the body, then I will be able to work for the Lord. But what would I choose—living or dying? I don’t know. 23It is hard to choose between living or dying. I want to leave this life and be with Christ. That is much better. 24But you people need me here in my body. 25I know that you need me. And so I know that I will stay with you. I will help you grow and have joy in your faith. 26You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again. 27Be sure that you live in a way that fits the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will hear that you continue strong with the same purpose and work together like a team for the faith ˻(truth)˼ that comes from the Good News. 28And you will not be afraid of those people who are against you. All of these things are proof from God that you are being saved and that your enemies will be lost. 29God gave you the honor of believing in Christ. But that is not all. God also gave you the honor of suffering for Christ. Both these things bring glory to Christ. 30When I was with you, you saw the struggles I had ˻with people who were against our work˼. And now you hear about the struggles I am having. You yourselves are having the same kind of struggles.

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