Bible: Philippians 1:3-2:18

Prayer for the Church

1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 1  1:4 I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you 1:5 because of your participation 2  in the gospel from the first day until now. 3  1:6 For I am sure of this very thing, 4  that the one 5  who began a good work in 6  you will perfect it 7  until the day of Christ Jesus. 1:7 For 8  it is right for me to think this about all of you, because I have you in my heart, 9  since both in my imprisonment 10  and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you became partners in God’s grace 11  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, 12  that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 13  1:13 The 14  whole imperial guard 15  and everyone else knows 16  that I am in prison 17  for the sake of Christ, 1:14 and most of the brothers and sisters, 18  having confidence in the Lord 19  because of my imprisonment, now more than ever 20  dare to speak the word 21  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. 22  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, 23  and I will continue to rejoice, 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance 24  through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 1:20 My confident hope 25  is that I will in no way be ashamed 26  but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die. 27  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, 28  this will mean productive work 29  for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: 30  1:23 I feel torn between the two, 31  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 32  in the body. 33  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 34  and joy in the faith, 35  1:26 so that what you can be proud of may increase 36  because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you. 37 

1:27 Only conduct yourselves 38  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 39  you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, 40  1:28 and by not being intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is 41  a sign of their 42  destruction, but of your salvation – a sign which 43  is from God. 1:29 For it has been granted to you 44  not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him, 1:30 since you are encountering 45  the same conflict that you saw me face and now hear that I am facing. 46 

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, 47  any affection or mercy, 48  2:2 complete my joy and be of the same mind, 49  by having the same love, being united in spirit, 50  and having one purpose. 2:3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition 51  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 52  not only 53  about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. 54  2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 55 

2:6 56 

who though he existed in the form of God 57 

did not regard equality with God

as something to be grasped,

2:7 but emptied himself

by taking on the form of a slave, 58 

by looking like other men, 59 

and by sharing in human nature. 60 

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, 61  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 62  2:16 by holding on to 63  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.

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