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Philippians

Philippians

Introduction

Philippians overflows with joy and thanksgiving. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi to thank them for a gift. He reported the joyful news that Epaphroditus, who had brought their gift to Paul, had recovered from his illness and was returning to Philippi. Paul said that he had learned the secret of being content in any situation, and he told them about his situation in prison. He expressed joy that more people were hearing about Christ even if some were proclaiming the gospel with bad motives. Wanting the Christians in Philippi to be unified, he challenged them to be servants just as Jesus was when he “emptied himself” and became a man rather than clinging to the rights of his divine nature (2:1–11). Paul wrote this letter while in prison, probably in Rome about a.d. 60.

Greeting

Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,

To all the asaints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the boverseers2 and cdeacons:3

dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

eI thank my God fin all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, gbecause of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began ha good work in you iwill bring it to completion at jthe day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you kin my heart, for you are all lpartakers with me of grace,4 both min my imprisonment and in nthe defense and confirmation of the gospel. For oGod is my witness, phow I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that qyour love may abound more and more, rwith knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, sand so be pure and blameless tfor the day of Christ, 11 filled uwith the fruit of righteousness that comes vthrough Jesus Christ, wto the glory and praise of God.

The Advance of the Gospel

12 I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really xserved to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard6 and yto all the rest that zmy imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold ato speak the word7 without fear.

15 bSome indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, cknowing that I am put here for dthe defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ eout of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

To Live Is Christ

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that fthrough your prayers and gthe help of hthe Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope ithat I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full jcourage now as always Christ kwill be honored in my body, lwhether by life or by death. 21 For to me mto live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 nI am hard pressed between the two. My desire is oto depart and pbe with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 qConvinced of this, rI know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your sprogress and tjoy in the faith, 26 so that in me uyou may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

27 Only vlet your manner of life be wworthy8 of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you xthat you are standing firm in one spirit, with yone mind zstriving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is aa clear sign to them of their destruction, but bof your salvation, and that from God. 29 For cit has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also bsuffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same dconflict that eyou saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Christ’s Example of Humility

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from flove, any gparticipation in the Spirit, any haffection and sympathy, icomplete my joy by being jof the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from kselfish ambition or lconceit, but in mhumility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you nlook not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. oHave this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,1 pwho, though he was in qthe form of God, did not count equality with God ra thing to be grasped,2 but semptied himself, by taking the form of a tservant,3 ubeing born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by vbecoming obedient to the point of death, weven death on a cross. xTherefore yGod has zhighly exalted him and bestowed on him athe name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus bevery knee should bow, cin heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and devery tongue confess that Jesus Christ is eLord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, fas you have always gobeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for hit is God who works in you, both to will and to work for ihis good pleasure.

14 Do all things jwithout grumbling or kdisputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, lchildren of God mwithout blemish nin the midst of oa crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine pas lights in the world, 16 holding fast to qthe word of life, so that in rthe day of Christ sI may be proud that tI did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be upoured out as a drink offering upon vthe sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus wto send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one xlike him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all yseek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s4 zproven worth, how aas a son5 with a father bhe has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and cI trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

25 I have thought it necessary to send to you dEpaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and efellow soldier, and your messenger and fminister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So greceive him in the Lord with all joy, and hhonor such men, 30 for he nearly died6 ifor the work of Christ, risking his life jto complete what was lacking in your service to me.

Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

Finally, my brothers,1 krejoice in the Lord. lTo write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Look out for mthe dogs, look out for nthe evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For owe are the circumcision, pwho worship qby the Spirit of God2 and rglory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— sthough I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: tcircumcised on the eighth day, uof the people of Israel, vof the tribe of Benjamin, ua Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, wa Pharisee; xas to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; zas to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. But awhatever gain I had, bI counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of cthe surpassing worth of dknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I ehave suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having fa righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but gthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 hthat I may know him and ithe power of his resurrection, and jmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may kattain the resurrection from the dead.

Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already lobtained this or mam already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: nforgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for othe prize of the upward pcall of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are qmature think this way, and if in anything ryou think otherwise, sGod will reveal that also to you. 16 Only tlet us hold true to what we have attained.

17 Brothers, ujoin in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk vaccording to the example you have in us. 18 For wmany, of whom I have often told you and now tell you xeven with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 yTheir end is destruction, ztheir god is their belly, and athey glory in their shame, with bminds set on earthly things. 20 But cour citizenship is in heaven, and dfrom it we eawait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform four lowly body gto be …

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