Philippians 1

To all Christ’s people at Philippi, with the presiding officers and assistants, from Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and give you peace. Every recollection that I have of you is a cause of thankfulness to God, always, in every prayer that I offer for you all — my prayers are full of joy — Because of the share that you have had in spreading the good news, from the first day that you received it until now. For of this I am confident, that he who began a good work in you will complete it in readiness for the day of Jesus Christ. And, indeed, I am justified in feeling like this about you all; because you have a warm place in my heart — you who all, both in my imprisonment and in the work of defending and establishing the good news, shared my privilege with me. God will bear me witness how I yearn over you all with the tenderness of Christ Jesus. And what I pray for is this — that your love may grow yet stronger and stronger, with increasing knowledge and all discernment, 10 until you are able to appreciate all moral distinctions. And I pray, too, that you may be kept pure and blameless against the day of Christ, 11 bearing a rich harvest of that righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 12  Friends, I want you to realise that what has happened to me has actually served to forward the good news. 13 It has even become evident, not only to all the imperial guard, but to everyone else, that it is for Christ’s sake that I am in chains. 14 And besides this, most of our fellow followers have gained confidence in the Lord through my chains, and now venture with far greater freedom to speak of God’s message fearlessly. 15 It is true that some do proclaim the Christ out of Jealousy and opposition; but there are others who proclaim him from goodwill. 16 The latter do it from love for me, knowing that I have been appointed to plead the cause of the good news. 17 The former spread the news of the Christ in a factious spirit, and not sincerely, thinking to add to the pain of my chains. 18 But what of that? Only that in some way or other, either with assumed or with real earnestness, Christ is being made known; and at that I rejoice. 19 Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that, through your prayers and through a rich supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, ‘all this will make for my salvation.’ 20 And this will fulfil my earnest expectation and hope that I will have no cause for shame, but that, with unfailing courage, now as hitherto, Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by my life or by my death, 21 for to me life is Christ, and death is gain. 22 But what if the life here in the body — if this brings me fruit from my labours? Then which to choose I cannot tell! I am sorely perplexed either way! 23 My own desire is to depart and be with Christ, for this would be far better. 24 But, for your sakes, it may be more needful that I should still remain here in the body. 25 Yes, I am confident that this is so, and therefore I am sure that I will stay, and stay near you all, to promote your progress and joy in the faith; 26 so that, when you once more have me among you, you, in your union with Christ Jesus, may find in me fresh cause for exultation. 27 Under all circumstances let your lives be worthy of the good news of the Christ: so that, whether I come and see you, or whether I hear of your affairs at a distance, I may know that you are standing firm, animated by one spirit, and joining with one heart in a common struggle for the faith taught by the good news, 28 without ever shrinking from your opponents. To them this will be a sign of their destruction and of your salvation — a sign from God. 29 For, on behalf of Christ, you have had the privilege granted you, not only of trusting in him, but also of suffering on his behalf. You will be engaged in the same hard struggle as that which you once saw me waging, and which you hear that I am waging still.

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