Philippians 1-2 New Life Version (NLV)
1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy. We are servants owned by Jesus Christ. This letter is to all who belong to Christ Jesus who are living in the city of Philippi and to the church leaders and their helpers also. 2 May you have loving-favor and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul Gives Thanks For the True Christians
3 I thank God for you whenever I think of you. 4 I always have joy as I pray for all of you. 5 It is because you have told others the Good News from the first day you heard it until now. 6 I am sure that God Who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again. 7 It is right for me to feel like this about all of you. It is because you are very dear to me. While I was in prison and when I was proving that the Good News is true, you all shared God’s loving-favor with me. 8 God knows what I am saying. He knows how much I love you all with a love that comes from Jesus Christ. 9 And this is my prayer: I pray that your love will grow more and more. I pray that you will have better understanding and be wise in all things. 10 I pray that you will know what is the very best. I pray that you will be true and without blame until the day Christ comes again. 11 And I pray that you will be filled with the fruits of right living. These come from Jesus Christ, with honor and thanks to God.
Paul’s Being in Prison Has Turned Out to Be a Good Thing
12 Christian brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped spread the Good News. 13 Everyone around here knows why I am in prison. It is because I preached about Jesus Christ. All the soldiers who work for the leader of the country know why I am here. 14 Because of this, most of my Christian brothers have had their faith in the Lord made stronger. They have more power to preach the Word of God without fear.
15 Some are preaching because they are jealous and want to make trouble. Others are doing it for the right reason. 16 These do it because of love. They know that I am put here to prove the Good News is true. 17 The others preach about Christ for what they get out of it. Their hearts are not right. They want to make me suffer while I am in prison. 18 What difference does it make if they pretend or if they are true? I am happy, yes, and I will keep on being happy that Christ is preached.
19 Because of your prayers and the help the Holy Spirit gives me, all of this will turn out for good. 20 I hope very much that I will have no reason to be ashamed. I hope to honor Christ with my body if it be by my life or by my death. I want to honor Him without fear, now and always. 21 To me, living means having Christ. To die means that I would have more of Him. 22 If I keep on living here in this body, it means that I can lead more people to Christ. I do not know which is better. 23 There is a strong pull from both sides. I have a desire to leave this world to be with Christ, which is much better. 24 But it is more important for you that I stay. 25 I am sure I will live to help you grow and be happy in your faith. 26 This will give you reason to give more thanks to Christ Jesus when I come to visit you again.
Fight for the Faith
27 Live your lives as the Good News of Christ says you should. If I come to you or not, I want to hear that you are standing true as one. I want to hear that you are working together as one, preaching the Good News. 28 Do not be afraid of those who hate you. Their hate for you proves they will be destroyed. It proves you have life from God that lasts forever. 29 You are not only to put your trust in Him, but you are to suffer for Him also. 30 You know what the fight is like. Now it is time for you to have a part in it as I have.
A Christian Should Not Be Proud
2 Are you strong because you belong to Christ? Does His love comfort you? Do you have joy by being as one in sharing the Holy Spirit? Do you have loving-kindness and pity for each other? 2 Then give me true joy by thinking the same thoughts. Keep having the same love. Be as one in thoughts and actions. 3 Nothing should be done because of pride or thinking about yourself. Think of other people as more important than yourself. 4 Do not always be thinking about your own plans only. Be happy to know what other people are doing.
Christ Was Not Proud
5 Think as Christ Jesus thought. 6 Jesus has always been as God is. But He did not hold to His rights as God. 7 He put aside everything that belonged to Him and made Himself the same as a servant who is owned by someone. He became human by being born as a man. 8 After He became a man, He gave up His important place and obeyed by dying on a cross. 9 Because of this, God lifted Jesus high above everything else. He gave Him a name that is greater than any other name. 10 So when the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow down before Him. 11 And every tongue will say Jesus Christ is Lord. Everyone will give honor to God the Father.
12 My Christian friends, you have obeyed me when I was with you. You have obeyed even more when I have been away. You must keep on working to show you have been saved from the punishment of sin. Be afraid that you may not please God. 13 He is working in you. God is helping you obey Him. God is doing what He wants done in you. 14 Be glad you can do the things you should be doing. Do all things without arguing and talking about how you wish you did not have to do them. 15 In that way, you can prove yourselves to be without blame. You are God’s children and no one can talk against you, even in a sin-loving and sin-sick world. You are to shine as lights among the sinful people of this world. 16 Take a strong hold on the Word of Life. Then when Christ comes again, I will be happy that I did not work with you for nothing. 17 Even if I give my life as a gift on the altar to God for you, I am glad and share this joy with you. 18 You must be happy and share your joy with me also.
Timothy Is Being Sent to You
19 I hope by the help of the Lord Jesus that I can send Timothy to you soon. It will comfort me when he brings news about you. 20 I have no one else who is as interested in you as Timothy. 21 Everyone else thinks of himself instead of Jesus Christ. 22 You know how Timothy proved to be such a true friend to me when we preached the Good News. He was like a son helping his father. 23 I hope to send Timothy as soon as I know what they are going to do to me. 24 I hope by the help of the Lord that I can come soon also.
25 I thought it was right that I send Epaphroditus back to you. You helped me by sending him to me. We have worked together like brothers. He was like a soldier fighting beside me. 26 He has been wanting to see all of you and was troubled because you heard he was sick. 27 It is true, he was sick. Yes, he almost died, but God showed loving-kindness to him and to me. If he had died, I would have had even more sorrow. 28 This is all the more reason I have sent him to you. When you see him, you will be glad and I will have less sorrow. 29 Take him into your church with joy. Show respect for men like him. 30 He came close to death while working for Christ. He almost died doing things for me that you could not do.