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Chapter 1

1 {I,) Paul, {am writing this} to all the people whom God has set apart for himself who live in {the city of} Philippi. {We,} Paul and Timothy, servants of the Messiah Jesus, {are sending this letter} to all of you in Philippi whom God has set apart for himself, you who are also joined to the Messiah Jesus. {We are also sending this letter} to the leaders of the believers and to those who assist. 2 {May} God our Father and our Lord Jesus the Messiah {continue to be} kind to you and {make you} peaceful.

3 Every time I think about you I thank my God. 4 I always pray joyfully each time I pray for all of you. 5 {The reason I pray joyfully is} because you have partnered with me in advancing the good news from the time you first believed until now. 6 I am confident that God who started his good work within you will continue that work until Jesus the Messiah returns. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all because I love you greatly. You all are sharing with me in God's kindness, both in my imprisonment and in my work of defending and declaring the truth of the good news. 8 God knows how greatly I love and yearn for you all with the affection of Jesus the Messiah.

9 I pray that your love for God and others will continue to increase. I pray that as your love increases God will help you to better see His truth and will teach you how to wisely love others. 10 The reason I pray this is so that you will test and choose what is most pleasing to God so that you will be morally clean and not guilty of wrongdoing when the Messiah returns. 11 {When the Messiah returns} God will receive praise because he has enabled you to produce the good works which come through Jesus the Messiah.

12 I want you to know my fellow believers, that the hard things I have suffered with my imprisonment have not hindered the spread of the good news. Instead, my circumstances have actually worked to spread the good news to even more people. 13 In particular, all the military guards here, and many other people now know that I am a prisoner because I proclaim the good news about the Messiah. 14 Also, most of the believers here now proclaim the good news about Jesus more courageously and fearlessly because they trust the Lord more firmly to help them. They speak about Jesus more confidently because they have seen the Lord help me in prison.

15 Some people are proclaiming the good news with wrong motives. These people are jealous and do not seek God's purposes but instead try to promote themselves. But others are proclaiming the good news because they love the Messiah and want people who have not heard the good news to hear it. 16 Those who proclaim the good news because they love me know that God has appointed me to publicly defend the truth of the good news. 17 But those who are proclaiming the good news about the Messiah for selfish reasons do not have good reasons for doing so. They believe they are causing me more suffering while I am here in prison. 18 But it does not matter! People are proclaiming the good news about the Messiah, either for good reasons or for bad reasons. So I am rejoicing that people are spreading the message about the Messiah! And I will continue to rejoice in that!

19 {I will rejoice} because I know that God will deliver me. He will do this because you are praying for me and because the Spirit of Jesus the Messiah is helping me. 20 I confidently hope that in no way will I fail to honor the Messiah. Rather, {I expect and desire that} now and always, I will boldly honor the Messiah by my actions, whether by the way I live or by the way I die.

21 As for me, I live to honor the Messiah. But if I die, it will be even better for me. 22 But if I continue to live here in my body, I will be able to productively serve the Messiah. So I do not know which I prefer, {to live or to die}. 23 It is difficult for me to choose which I prefer, {living or dying}. I desire to leave {this world} and go to be with the Messiah, because to be with the Messiah is very much better. 24 But it is more necessary that I remain alive here on earth because you still need me to help you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain alive with you all in order to help you progress {in following Jesus}. And I will remain to help you rejoice in your faith in the Messiah. 26 So that, by my remaining and visiting you again, I will help you greatly rejoice in Jesus the Messiah.

27 Now it is important that you act in a way that honors the good news about the Messiah. {Do this} so that whether or not I visit you again, I will be told {good things about you}. That you are not moved by anything and that you are united in purpose, working together for the Christian faith. 28 Do not let anything {done or said} by the people who are against you, cause you to be afraid. This will show them that God is going to eternally judge them, but save you, and these things are from God. 29 For the Messiah's sake, God has kindly given to you, not just to believe in him but also to suffer for him. 30 You are having to resist those who oppose the good news, just like how you saw that I had to resist such people there in Philippi, and now hear that I still have to resist such people.

Chapter 2

1 Since the Messiah encourages us, since he loves us and comforts us, since the Spirit has produced fellowship {among you}, since {God gives you} affection and compassion {toward one another}, 2 make me completely happy by doing the following things: Agree with one another, love one another, be closely united with one another, be united in your thinking. 3 Do not do anything with an attitude of selfishness and do not think of yourselves as better than others. Instead, be humble and honor one another more than you honor yourselves. 4 Each one of you should not only be concerned about your needs. Instead, you should also be concerned about other people and their needs.

5 Think the same way as the Messiah Jesus thought:

     6 Although he has the same nature as God has, he did not insist on keeping all the privileges of being equal with God.

     7 Instead, he gave up divine privileges,

     and became a servant to others,

     and became a human being. When he had become a human being,

     8 he humbled himself further. Specifically, {he humbled himself} by obeying God so far as being willing to die. He was even willing to die by being crucified on a cross.

     9 Because {the Messiah humbly obeyed God,} God also honored him very much;

     he honored him more than any other person or being,

     10 so that before Jesus,

     every being will bow down and honor him,

     beings who are in heaven, and beings on earth, and beings under the earth;

     11 and every mouth will say,

     that Jesus the Messiah is Lord,

     so that God the Father is honored.

12 As a result of these things, my dearly loved fellow believers, as you have always obeyed God when I was with you, now that I am apart from you, you also must obey him even more. Every one of you work with God in his saving work within you, and do this humbly reverencing God. 13 For God is working within you, so that you will want to do, and then actually do the good things that please him.

14 Do everything without grumbling or quarreling. 15 Behave like that in order that you may be completely faultless, children of God who keep yourselves from evil. As you live among the wicked people of this world. Then, as you live among them, you will show them how to behave as the sun, moon, and stars help us see where to walk. 16 Tell others the message about how to have eternal life. {Do all these things} so that I will be able to rejoice at the time when the Messiah returns that I did not work hard among you uselessly.

17 And I am joyful and will rejoice with you all, even if I suffer daily or those who oppose the gospel try to kill me. I will gladly embrace suffering in order to complete your sacrificial service to God which you offer because you believe in him. 18 In the same way also, each of you should rejoice regarding these things; and should rejoice together with me!

19 I am hoping that the Lord Jesus will allow me to be able to send Timothy to you soon. I am hoping this so that his telling you the news about me will encourage you. But I also expect that his returning to me and telling me the news about you will encourage me. 20 I have no one else like Timothy who genuinely cares for you. 21 All the others whom I might send to you are concerned only about their own matters. They are not concerned enough about what Jesus the Messiah considers important. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven character, because as a son with a father he served me in the good news. 23 I am hoping to send Timothy to you as soon as I know what will happen to me. 24 And I am confident that the Lord will allow me to be released soon, so that I myself will also come to you.

25 I believe that I must send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a fellow believer and my fellow worker and soldier for the Messiah, and your messenger and servant whom you sent to help me in my need. 26 When Epaphroditus learned that you heard he was sick, he became very worried and began longing to be there with all of you at Philippi. 27 Indeed, he was so sick that he almost died, but he did not die. Instead, God was very kind to him and also to me, so that I would not have a reason to grieve much. 28 So I am sending him back to you as quickly as possible. I will do this in order that you may rejoice when you see him again, and that I might grieve less. 29 Welcome Epaphroditus with the great joy we have because the Lord Jesus loves us. Honor him and other believers like him. 30 As he was working for the Messiah, he almost died. He ran the risk of dying in order to supply the things that I needed, something you could not do because you are far away from me.

Chapter 3

1 Finally, my fellow believers, continue to rejoice because you belong to the Lord. Though I will now write to you about those same matters that I mentioned to you before, this does not make me tired, and it will protect you from those who would like to harm you.

2 Beware of those people who are as dangerous to you as wild dogs. They just mutilate men’s bodies so they will become Jews. 3 But as for us—the Spirit of God enables us to truly worship God; we rejoice because we trust in the Messiah Jesus; and the rituals or ceremonies that people perform mean nothing to us. Therefore we ourselves are what it truly means to be circumcised. 4 We do not trust in those rituals to make us acceptable to God, although I could very well do that if it would be useful for me.

5 They circumcised me seven days after I was born. I was born as one of the people of Israel. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. You cannot find a person more Hebrew than myself! My ancestors were all Hebrews. And it was as a Pharisee that I obeyed all the laws of Moses and what our ancestors taught about them. 6 I was so passionate to make people obey the law that I caused believers in the Messiah to suffer. No one could say that I ever disobeyed the law.

7 But everything that I then considered to be important I now consider to be worthless, because the Messiah has changed me. 8 Instead, even more I now consider all things as not only worthless, but as useless garbage to throw away, compared to how great it is to know the Messiah Jesus my Lord. I have removed from my life everything worthless, in order to benefit from the Messiah. 9 I now belong completely to the Messiah. I know that I cannot make myself good in God’s sight by keeping the law. Instead I trust totally in the Messiah, so God has declared me good in His sight. 10 I want to know Christ better and better. Particularly, I want to continually experience his working powerfully in my life, just like God worked powerfully when he caused Christ to become alive after he died. I also want to be continually willing to suffer in order that I may obey God, just like Christ suffered in order that he might obey God. I also want to be completely willing to die for Christ, even as he died for me, 11 All of this is because I fully expect that God will cause me to live again, as he has promised.

12 I do not claim that all of these things have fully happened to me yet. But I keep trying to receive these things, because these things are why the Messiah Jesus took possession of me. 13 My fellow believers, I certainly do not yet think that all these things have completely happened to me. But I am like a runner, because I do not look backward as I run toward the finish line. 14 Instead, I keep running toward the finish line, in order to win the prize, which is to live forever with God. This is what God has called me for, and what the Messiah Jesus has made possible. 15 So all of us who have become strong believers should think this same way. But if any of you do not think this same way, God will reveal this to you. 16 Whatever is true about us now, however far we have come, let us trust the Messiah more and more in the same way we have done until now.

17 My fellow believers, join with me and imitate me, and observe closely those people who live as I do, and imitate our example. 18 There are many people who say that they believe in the Messiah, but they really oppose what he did on the cross for us. I have told you about those people many times before, and now I am sad, even crying, as I tell you about them again. 19 God will destroy them in the end because their god is their desire to eat, and they live shamefully and think about things of the earth. 20 As for us, we are citizens of heaven. It is from heaven that we are eagerly awaiting our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah to return. 21 He will change the bodies we have now, weak and humble bodies, into bodies like his own powerful body. He will do this with the same power with which he controls all things.

Chapter 4

1 My fellow believers, I love you and I long for you. You give me joy; you will be the reason for which God will reward me. Dear friends, continue to believe firmly in the Lord, as I have described to you in this letter.

2 I urge you, Euodia, and I urge you, Syntyche, to again have a peaceful relationship with each other, because you are both joined to the Lord. 3 And I also urge you, my faithful partner, please help these women. They have faithfully proclaimed the good news and worked with me, together with Clement and the rest of my fellow laborers, whose names are in The Book of Life in which God has written the names of all those people who will live forever.

4 Always rejoice for the Lord! I say again, rejoice! 5 All people must see that you are gentle because the Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything. Instead, in every situation pray to God, tell him exactly what you need, and ask him to help you. And thank God for all he does for you. 7 Then God’s peace, which is much greater than we can understand, will be like a soldier that is guarding how you feel and how you think, as we are joined to the Messiah Jesus.

8 Finally, my fellow believers, whatever is true, whatever is worthy for people to honor, whatever is right, whatever no one can find fault with, whatever is pleasing, whatever people should admire, whatever is good, whatever deserves people to praise it: These are the things that you should always be thinking about. 9 Those things that I have taught you and that you have received from me, those things that you have heard me say and that you have seen me do, those are the things that you yourselves should always do. Then God, who gives us his peace, will be with you.

10 I rejoice greatly and thank the Lord because now, after some time, you sent money to me, and so you have once again shown that you are concerned about me. Indeed, you were concerned about me all the time, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I need certain things. In fact, I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I am able to be needy or to have plenty. I have learned how to be satisfied in all circumstances. I know the secret of how to be happy at all times. 13 I am able to do everything because the Messiah makes me strong. 14 Nevertheless, you did the right thing to share with me in my hardship.

15 My friends there at Philippi, you yourselves know that during the time I first proclaimed the good news to you, when I left there to go away from the province of Macedonia, no assembly of believers sent me funds or helped me in any way except you only! 16 Even when I was in the city of Thessalonica, you sent money more than once to supply what I needed. 17 I say this, not because I desire that you give me money now. Instead, I want to see you do even more things that God will praise you for.

18 I have plenty of things now. I have so many things that you sent me through Epaphroditus. These things are like when priests burn an animal sacrifice to God and it smells good to him. 19 God, whom I serve, will supply everything you need because you belong to Jesus the Messiah, who owns the splendor and wealth of heaven. 20 So people should praise God our Father, who will rule forever and ever in brilliant light! Amen!

21 Greet for me all the believers. They all belong to Messiah Jesus! The believers with me greet you, as well. 22 All of God’s people here send their greetings to you. Especially the fellow believers who work in the palace of Caesar, the emperor, send their greetings to you.

23 My desire is that our Lord Jesus the Messiah will continue to act kindly toward you all. Amen.