Philippians 1 NIV

1:1 Paul and Timothy [Timothy had assisted Paul in establishing the church at Philippi and had visited them at least twice since (cf. Acts 19:22; 20:3-4); not a co-author of this letter], servants [Gr. “doulos” meaning “slave”] of Christ Jesus [Paul and Timothy belonged to Jesus and acted in His name], To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

1:2 Grace [unmerited favor of God toward man] and peace [the kind of peace born of reconciliation; note the order: grace and then peace] to you from [the source from which grace and peace flow] God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:3 I thank my God every time I remember [according to Acts 16 we might conclude that Paul’s memories of Philippi (illegally arrested and beaten, imprisoned and humiliated before the people) ought to produce sorrow rather than joy, but those memories caused Paul to rejoice and give thanks] you.

1:4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always [he continually prayed on their behalf] pray with joy [first mention of this little word which will be used repeatedly throughout this letter]

1:5 because of [the specific occasion for his thanksgiving and joy] your partnership [Gr. word “koinoniai” which means “fellowship, sharing, participation”] in the gospel from the first day [from the day Lydia was converted and opened her home to Paul’s missionary team] until now,

1:6 being confident of this, that he [God] who began a good work [refers to the perfecting of character (sanctification) and also to the furtherance of the gospel] in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus [cf. 1 Jn. 3:2].

1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart [Paul had a deep and sincere love for the Philippian believers]; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.

1:8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection [Gr. word “splagchnois” is the strongest word in Greek for the feeling of compassion (Rienecker/Rogers)] of Christ Jesus.

1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love [refers to their mutual love for each other and their regard for their fellowman] may abound [overflow] more and more in knowledge [practical, spiritual principles] and depth of insight [refers to moral discernment or perception],

1:10 so that you may be able to discern [wise and careful discrimination of issues of right and wrong, true and false] what is best and may be pure [in relation to God] and blameless [giving no offense to others] until the day of Christ [the coming of Christ should serve as an incentive to holy living],

1:11 filled with the fruit of [the fruit which righteousness produces] righteousness [right standing with God and right doing (Amplified)] that comes through [comes only through our union with Christ (cf. Jn. 15:4-5); as we are in proper union with Christ the Holy Spirit is able to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us (cf. Gal. 5:22-23)] Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.

1:12 Now I want you to know [come to know, learn, or understand], brothers [fellow believers who are members of the same spiritual family by faith in Christ], that what has happened to me [his imprisonment] has really served [in contrast to what might be expected; his imprisonment did not end his missionary activity but rather expanded it for himself and for others] to advance [Gr. “prokope” used to describe the progress of an army or expedition] the gospel [circumstances served to clear the way for the gospel to advance into new areas].

1:13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard [the soldiers to whom Paul was chained; Paul’s imprisonment opened the way for exposing soldiers in the Roman army to the gospel of Christ] and to everyone else [refers to a wide circle in Rome beyond the guard itself] that I am in chains [Paul’s chains gave him contact with the lost] for [Paul was in prison because of his religious convictions and teachings] Christ.

1:14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged [inspired and stimulated to greater evangelistic activity] to speak [in everyday conversations and opportunities] the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

1:15 It is true that some [the brothers mentioned in the previous verse] preach Christ [the issue here was not the substance of their message but rather the motivation that led them to preach it] out of envy and rivalry [some preached from unworthy motives], but others out of goodwill [some preached from worthy motives].

1:16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.

1:17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition [Gr. “eritheia” refers to a self-seeking, ambitious, and competitive spirit], not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

1:18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached [Paul was able to see the bigger picture — Christ was being preached!]. And because of this [the fact that Christ was being preached in spite of the imperfect motives of the preachers] I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,

1:19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance [Paul believed things would work out for the best].

1:20 I eagerly expect [Gr. “apokaradokia” from “apo” (away), “kara” (head), “dokein” (to watch)] and hope that I will in no way be ashamed [cf. Rom. 1:16], but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain [because he would be with Christ].

1:22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!

1:22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!

1:23 I am torn between the two [“hard-pressed from both directions” (NASB); Gr. “senechomai” means “to hem in on both sides”]: I desire to depart [military term for breaking camp] and be with Christ, which is better by far;

1:24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain [to remain alongside another], and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,

1:26 so that through my being with you again [when Paul and Philippians see one another again] your joy [Paul’s presence will give them occasion to boast and rejoice in the Lord] in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me [Paul was a living testimony of how Christ can sustain a man in and through the worst of circumstances].

1:27 Whatever happens, conduct [Gr. “politeuesthe” means “to behave as citizens”; cf. Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10] yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm [like a soldier who will not budge from his post] in one spirit, contending [Gr. “sunathleo” means “to contend or struggle with someone”] as one man [working cooperatively like an athletic team] for the faith of the gospel

1:28 without being frightened [like a startled animal] in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.

1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer [not because of their sin but because of their allegiance to Christ and their commitment to the advancement of the gospel; cf. Jn. 15:18] for him [Paul saw this as a privilege],

1:30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

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