From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To God's people in the city of Philippi and their bishops and deacons -- to everyone who is united with Christ Jesus.
Good will and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
I thank my God for all the memories I have of you.
Every time I pray for all of you, I do it with joy.
I can do this because of the partnership we've had with you in the Good News from the first day [you believed] until now.
I'm convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.
You have a special place in my heart. So it's right for me to think this way about all of you. All of you are my partners. Together we share God's favor, whether I'm in prison or defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.
God is my witness that, with all the compassion of Christ Jesus, I long [to see] every one of you.
I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight.
That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.
Jesus Christ will fill your lives with everything that God's approval produces. Your lives will then bring glory and praise to God.
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what happened to me has helped to spread the Good News.
As a result, it has become clear to all the soldiers who guard the emperor and to everyone else that I am in prison because of Christ.
So through my being in prison, the Lord has given most of our brothers and sisters confidence to speak God's word more boldly and fearlessly than ever.
Some people tell the message about Christ because of their jealousy and envy. Others tell the message about him because of their good will.
Those who tell the message about Christ out of love know that God has put me here to defend the Good News.
But the others are insincere. They tell the message about Christ out of selfish ambition in order to stir up trouble for me while I'm in prison.
But what does it matter? Nothing matters except that, in one way or another, people are told the message about Christ, whether with honest or dishonest motives, and I'm happy about that. Yes, I will continue to be happy
for another reason. I know that I will be set free through your prayers and through the help that comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will have nothing to be ashamed of. I will speak very boldly and honor Christ in my body, now as always, whether I live or die.
Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I'll have even more.
If I continue to live in this life, my work will produce more results. I don't know which I would prefer.
I find it hard to choose between the two. I would like to leave this life and be with Christ. That's by far the better choice.
But for your sake it's better that I remain in this life.
Since I'm convinced of this, I know that I will continue to live and be with all of you. This will help you to grow and be joyful in your faith.
So by coming to you again, I want to give you even more reason to have pride in Christ Jesus with me.
Live as citizens who reflect the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come to see you or whether I stay away, I'll hear all about you. I'll hear that you are firmly united in spirit, united in fighting for the faith that the Good News brings.
So don't let your opponents intimidate you in any way. This is God's way of showing them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved.
God has given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him.
You are involved in the same struggle that you saw me having. Now you hear that I'm still involved in it.