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Paul’s Reasons for Thanks

From Paul and Timothy, slaves of King Jesus, to all God’s holy ones in King Jesus who are in Philippi, together with the overseers and ministers: grace to you and peace, from God our father and King Jesus the Lord.

I thank my God every time I think of you! I always pray with joy, whenever I pray for you all, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Of this I’m convinced: the one who began a good work in you will thoroughly complete it by the day of King Jesus.

It’s right for me to think this way about all of you. You have me in your hearts, here in prison as I am, working to defend and bolster up the gospel. You are my partners in grace, all of you! Yes: God can bear witness how much I’m longing for all of you with the deep love of King Jesus.

And this is what I’m praying: that your love may overflow still more and more, in knowledge and in all astute wisdom. 10 Then you will be able to tell the difference between good and evil, and be sincere and faultless on the day of the Messiah, 11 filled to overflowing with the fruit of right living, fruit that comes through King Jesus to God’s glory and praise.

The King Is Proclaimed

12 Now, my dear family, I want you to know that the things I’ve been through have actually helped the gospel on its way. 13 You see, everybody in the Imperial Guard, and all the rest for that matter, have heard that I am here, chained up, because of the Messiah, the king. 14 My imprisonment has given new confidence to most of the Lord’s family; they are now much more prepared to speak the word boldly and fearlessly.

15 There are some, I should say, who are proclaiming the king because of envy and rivalry; but there are others who are doing it out of good will. 16 These last are acting from love, since they know that I’m in prison because of defending the gospel; 17 but the others are announcing the king out of selfishness and jealousy. They are not acting from pure motives; they imagine that they will make more trouble for me in my captivity.

18 So what? Only this: the king is being announced, whether people mean it or not! I’m happy to celebrate that!

To Live or to Die?

Yes, and I really am going to celebrate: 19 because I know that this will result in my rescue, through your prayer and the support of the spirit of King Jesus. 20 I’m waiting eagerly and full of hope, because nothing is going to put me to shame. I am going to be bold and outspoken, now as always, and the king is going to gain a great reputation through my body, whether in life or in death.

21 You see, for me to live means the Messiah; to die means to make a profit. 22 If it’s to be living on in the flesh, that means fruitful work for me.

Actually, I don’t know which I would choose. 23 I’m pulled both ways at once: I would really love to leave all this and be with the king, because that would be far better. 24 But staying on here in the flesh is more vital for your sake. 25 Since I’ve become convinced of this, I know that I will remain here, and stay alongside all of you, to help you to advance and rejoice in your faith, 26 so that the pride you take in King Jesus may overflow because of me, when I come to visit you once again.

The Gospel in Public

27 The one thing I would stress is this: your public behaviour must match up to the gospel of the king. That way, whether I do come and see you or whether I remain elsewhere, the news that I get about you will indicate that you are standing firm with a single spirit, struggling side by side with one united intent for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not letting your opponents intimidate you in any way. This is a sign from God: one that signifies their destruction, but your salvation.

29 Yes: God has granted you that, on behalf of the king, you should not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake. 30 You are engaged in the same struggle which you once watched me go through; and, as you now hear, I’m still going through it.