1 [This letter is from] Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, [and is being sent] to all the saints [i.e., God's holy people] who are at Philippi [Note: This is a town in present-day northeastern Greece, and the first place in Europe where Paul established Christianity], along with the overseers [Note: These men were also called elders, shepherds or pastors] and deacons.
3 I thank my God [in prayer] every time I think of you. 4 In my every request for all of you, I make it with joy 5 for your sharing [with me] in [carrying on] the work of the Gospel from the first day [I left there] until now. [See 4:14-16]. 6 I am confident of this very thing, that God, who began something good among you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ's [return]. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart [i.e., you are dear to me], for you people are sharing in God's unearned favor with me [Note: Paul here refers to his ministry], both in my imprisonment and in my defense and confirmation of the Gospel [i.e., in my efforts to give proof of the Gospel's truth]. 8 For God is my witness that I long to see you with the [same] affection that Christ Jesus has [for you]. 9 And I pray that your love may grow stronger and stronger, [along] with how much you know, and [that you may grow] in your ability to comprehend things. 10 Then you will be able to approve of [only] what is best and be sincere and without just blame on the day of Christ's [return], 11 having been full of qualities of righteousness, which come from Jesus Christ and produce honor and praise to God.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that the things that happened to me have resulted in the advancement [of the influence] of the Gospel rather [than hindering it], 13 so that my imprisonment for Christ became known throughout the entire headquarters of the governor [i.e., among all his personnel], and to everyone else. 14 And most of the brothers in the Lord's [service], through my imprisonment, gained confidence to speak out God's message with greater courage and without fear. 15 Some people, indeed, are proclaiming Christ out of envy and strife [i.e., out of rivalry], while others do it from goodwill. 16 Those who do it out of love [for me] know that I am prepared to defend the Gospel [i.e., before government authorities]. 17 But the others preach Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely, hoping to stir up trouble for me while I am in prison. 18 So, what [should I think about the situation]? Just this: I am happy and will continue to be happy that, in every way, Christ is being preached, [regardless of] whether it is in pretense or with sincerity. 19 For I know that, through your requests [in prayer] for me and the help provided by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, this situation will result in my being rescued [i.e., released from imprisonment]. 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not have to be ashamed about anything, but that I will have the courage, [both] now and always, [to so live] that Christ will be exalted [i.e., honored] in my body, whether I live or die.
21 For life to me is Christ, and if I die, it would be gain. 22 But if [continuing] to live in my body means accomplishing more work [for Christ], then I do not know which to choose. 23 So, I am in a dilemma between the two choices. [On the one hand] I have the desire to depart [from this life] and be with Christ [in heaven], which would be far better. 24 Yet [on the other hand], to remain in my body is more necessary for your sakes. 25 So, being convinced of this, I know I will remain [in my body] and continue with all of you for your spiritual progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that, by my being with you again, you will be able to rejoice all the more in [our lives together with] Christ Jesus.
27 So, [whatever happens], live your daily lives in such a way as to be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or remain absent from you, I will hear about you, that you are standing firm in one spirit [i.e., united in purpose, and] contending with one mind for the faith of the Gospel [i.e., for the body of Christian teaching]. 28 [I also want to hear] that you are not being frightened by those who oppose you, which [opposition] is proof that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved, and this will [all] be done by God. 29 Because God has granted you [the privilege], on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. 30 [So], you are now experiencing the same struggle you [once] saw me going through, and now are hearing that I still am.