Paul and Timothy say ‘Hello’
1 Paul and Timothy write this letter to you. We are servants of Christ Jesus.
We are writing to you, God's own people who live in Philippi. You belong to God because you are united with Christ Jesus. We are writing to all of you. This includes the leaders and the deacons in the church there.
1:1Paul wrote to Timothy about leaders and deacons in the churches. See 1 Timothy 3:1-13.
2 We pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. We pray that they will give you peace in your minds.
Paul thanks God for the believers at Philippi
3 Every time that I think about you, I thank my God because of you. 4 I am always praying for you. Every time that I pray for you, I feel very happy. 5 I am happy because together we tell people the good news about Christ. You have always helped me with that work, since the first day that you yourselves heard the good news. 6 I know that God has begun to do good things in you. And I am sure that he will continue to work in you. Then, on the day when Jesus Christ returns, his work in you will be finished.
7 It is right for me to feel like this about all of you, because I love you very much. God has been very kind to all of us. Because you know that, you have continued to help me. You have helped me while I have been here in this prison. You also helped me when I was free and I could teach the good news. I explained to people why the good news is God's true message. Together, we have known how kind God is. 8 God knows that I very much want to be with all of you. I love you very much, just like Christ Jesus himself loves you.
9 This is what I pray for you. I pray that you will continue to love each other more and more. I pray that you will know God better and better. I pray that you will understand all those things that are true. 10 Then you will be able to choose what is best in the way that you live. Then, on the day when Christ returns, you will be completely clean. You will not be guilty of any bad thing. 11 Because of the work that Jesus Christ has done in you, you will be right with God. And your lives will be full of good things. As a result, people will praise God and they will say that he is very great.
Paul has served God in prison
12 My friends, I want you to know this. The trouble that has happened to me has helped more people to know about God's good news. 13 I am in a prison because I am Christ's servant. The soldiers in the king's house and all the people here know that. 14 Also, because I am in a prison, most of the other believers here trust the Lord even more. The Lord has made them brave, so that they are not afraid to speak God's message to people.
15 It is true that some of these Christians are jealous of me. They want to show that they are better than me. That is why they tell people the message about Christ. But other Christians speak about Christ because they want to help me. 16 They tell people about him because they love me. They know that God has put me here in this prison. And he wants me to show people that the good news is true. 17 Those other people speak about Christ because they want to seem important. They do not really want to help people. They just want to cause trouble for me while I am here in this prison. 18 But it does not matter to me! All of them are telling people about Christ. That is the most important thing. Whether they speak because of wrong reasons or because of right reasons, they are speaking the message about Christ! Because of that, I am happy.
Yes, I will continue to be happy. 19 You are praying for me and Jesus Christ's Spirit is helping me. So, I know that what has happened to me will have a good result. Yes, God will rescue me. 20 I never want to do anything that will cause me to be ashamed. I hope very much that I will never do that. I want to be brave now, as I always have been. In the way that I live, I want to show that Christ is very great. I want to do that if I continue to live. And I want to do that if I die.
21 Christ is everything that I live for. If I die, that will be even better for me. 22 But if I continue to live, I will be able to do more good things to help people. I do not know whether it would be better to live or to die. I do not know which to choose. 23 Both of them seem very good to me. I want to leave this world so that I can be with Christ. That is a much better thing. 24 But you people need me to continue to live here in this world. 25 Yes, I am sure that you need me. For that reason, I know that I will continue to live among you. Then I will be able to help you to trust Christ even more. And that will make you even happier. 26 Then, when I am there with you again, you will have an even better reason to thank Christ Jesus.
1:26Paul is in a prison in Rome while he is writing this letter. He does not know what will happen to him. He may stay in the prison until he dies. Or he may become free. Then he hopes to visit the Christians in Philippi again.
27 The most important thing is that you continue to live in a good way. Live in the way that the good news about Christ teaches. I want to know that you agree together about the good news. And that you work together to show others that the good news is true. Whether I come to visit you or not, I want to know that you all help one another like that. 28 I want to know that you are not afraid of the people who speak against you. If you are brave, that will be a sign from God. It will show your enemies that they will lose and you will win. God will punish them, but he will save you. 29 God is helping you to serve Christ well. That means that you believe in Christ. But it also means that you receive trouble and pain on his behalf. Both of those are gifts from God. 30 You are receiving the same kinds of trouble that I myself receive. You saw that when I was with you. Now you hear that it is still happening to me.