THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS
The Philippians were the first among the Macedonians converted to the faith. They had a great veneration for St. Paul and supplied his wants when he was a prisoner in Rome, sending to him by Epaphroditus, by whom he sent this Epistle; in which he recommends charity, unity and humility and warns them against false teachers, whom he calls dogs and enemies of the cross of Christ. He also returns thanks for their benefactions. It was written about twenty-nine years after our Lord's Ascension.
Philippians Chapter 1
The apostle's affection for the Philippians.
1:1. Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ: to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
1:2. Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3. I give thanks to my God in every remembrance of you:
1:4. Always in all my prayers making supplication for you all with joy:
1:5. For your communication in the gospel of Christ, from the first day unto now.
1:6. Being confident of this very thing: that he who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.
1:7. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart; and that, in my bands and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my joy.
1:8. For God is my witness how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
1:9. And this I pray: That your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding:
1:10. That you may approve the better things: that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ:
1:11. Filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
1:12. Now, brethren, I desire you should know that the things which have happened to me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel:
1:13. So that my bands are made manifest in Christ, in all the court and in all other places.
1:14. And many of the brethren in the Lord, growing confident by my bands, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.
1:15. Some indeed, even out of envy and contention: but some also for good will preach Christ.
1:16. Some out of charity, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
1:17. And some out of contention preach Christ not sincerely: supposing that they raise affliction to my bands.
1:18. But what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion or by truth, Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
1:19. For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
1:20. According to my expectation and hope; that in nothing I shall be confounded: but with all confidence, as always, so now also, shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.
1:21. For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain.
1:22. And if to live in the flesh: this is to me the fruit of labour. And what I shall choose I know not.
This is to me, etc. . .His meaning is, that although his dying immediately for Christ would be his gain, by putting him presently in possession of heaven; yet he is doubtful what he should choose, because by staying longer in the flesh, he should be more beneficial to the souls of his neighbours.
1:23. But I am straitened between two: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better.
1:24. But to abide still in the flesh is needful for you.
1:25. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith:
1:26. That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus for me, by my coming to you again.
1:27. Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind labouring together for the faith of the gospel.
1:28. And in nothing be ye terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God.
1:29. For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him:
1:30. Having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me and now have heard of me.