From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all of God's holy people in Christ Jesus who live in Philippi, including your elders and deacons:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you,
always praying with joy for all of you.
I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News -- help you gave from the first day you believed until now.
God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.
And I know that I am right to think like this about all of you, because I have you in my heart. All of you share in God's grace with me while I am in prison and while I am defending and proving the truth of the Good News.
God knows that I want to see you very much, because I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus.
This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love;
that you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ;
that you will do many good things with the help of Christ to bring glory and praise to God.
I want you brothers and sistersn to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the Good News.
All the palace guards and everyone else knows that I am in prison because I am a believer in Christ.
Because I am in prison, most of the believers have become more bold in Christ and are not afraid to speak the word of God.
It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous and ambitious, but others preach about Christ because they want to help.
They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News.
But the others preach about Christ for selfish and wrong reasons, wanting to make trouble for me in prison.
But it doesn't matter. The important thing is that in every way, whether for right or wrong reasons, they are preaching about Christ. So I am happy, and I will continue to be happy.
Because you are praying for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ is helping me, I know this trouble will bring my freedom.
I expect and hope that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die.
To me the only important thing about living is Christ, and dying would be profit for me.
If I continue living in my body, I will be able to work for the Lord. I do not know what to choose -- living or dying.
It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is much better,
but you need me here in my body.
Since I am sure of this, I know I will stay with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith.
You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again.
Only one thing concerns me: Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ. Then whether I come and visit you or am away from you, I will hear that you are standing strong with one purpose, that you work together as one for the faith of the Good News,
and that you are not afraid of those who are against you. All of this is proof that your enemies will be destroyed but that you will be saved by God.
God gave you the honor not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for him, both of which bring glory to Christ.
When I was with you, you saw the struggles I had, and you hear about the struggles I am having now. You yourselves are having the same kind of struggles.