Bible: Philippians 1:1-2:30
1:1 From Paul 1 and Timothy, slaves 2 of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, 3 with the overseers 4 and deacons. 1:2 Grace and peace to you 5 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Prayer for the Church
1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 6 1:4 I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you 1:5 because of your participation 7 in the gospel from the first day until now. 8 1:6 For I am sure of this very thing, 9 that the one 10 who began a good work in 11 you will perfect it 12 until the day of Christ Jesus. 1:7 For 13 it is right for me to think this about all of you, because I have you in my heart, 14 since both in my imprisonment 15 and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you became partners in God’s grace 16 together with me. 1:8 For God is my witness that I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 1:9 And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight 1:10 so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, 1:11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Ministry as a Prisoner
1:12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, 17 that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 18 1:13 The 19 whole imperial guard 20 and everyone else knows 21 that I am in prison 22 for the sake of Christ, 1:14 and most of the brothers and sisters, 23 having confidence in the Lord 24 because of my imprisonment, now more than ever 25 dare to speak the word 26 fearlessly.
1:15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 1:16 The latter do so from love because they know that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. 1:17 The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment. 27 1:18 What is the result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.
Yes, 28 and I will continue to rejoice, 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance 29 through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 1:20 My confident hope 30 is that I will in no way be ashamed 31 but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die. 32 1:21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 1:22 Now if I am to go on living in the body, 33 this will mean productive work 34 for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: 35 1:23 I feel torn between the two, 36 because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 1:24 but it is more vital for your sake that I remain 37 in the body. 38 1:25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress 39 and joy in the faith, 40 1:26 so that what you can be proud of may increase 41 because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you. 42
1:27 Only conduct yourselves 43 in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that 44 you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, 45 1:28 and by not being intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is 46 a sign of their 47 destruction, but of your salvation – a sign which 48 is from God. 1:29 For it has been granted to you 49 not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him, 1:30 since you are encountering 50 the same conflict that you saw me face and now hear that I am facing. 51
Christian Unity and Christ’s Humility
2:1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, 52 any affection or mercy, 53 2:2 complete my joy and be of the same mind, 54 by having the same love, being united in spirit, 55 and having one purpose. 2:3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition 56 or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 2:4 Each of you should be concerned 57 not only 58 about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. 59 2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 602:6 61
who though he existed in the form of God 62
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
2:7 but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave, 63
by looking like other men, 64
and by sharing in human nature. 65
2:8 He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
– even death on a cross!
2:9 As a result God exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
2:10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
– in heaven and on earth and under the earth –
2:11 and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
2:12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, 66 2:13 for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God. 2:14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 2:15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world 67 2:16 by holding on to 68 the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. 2:17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. 2:18 And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.
Models for Ministry
2:19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 2:20 For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. 69 2:21 Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 2:22 But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 2:23 So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 2:24 though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you 70 soon.
2:25 But for now 71 I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, 72 coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger 73 and minister 74 to me in my need. 75 2:26 Indeed, he greatly missed all of you and was distressed because you heard that he had been ill. 2:27 In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. 76 But God showed mercy to him – and not to him only, but also to me – so that I would not have grief on top of grief. 2:28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, 77 so that when you see him again you can rejoice 78 and I can be free from anxiety. 2:29 So welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 2:30 since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died. He risked his life so that he could make up for your inability to serve me. 79