ST. PAULíS Epistle to the PHILIPPIANS
Paul and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons, Grace be unto you, and peace: from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every mention of you. Always in all my prayers making supplication for you all with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now: Being persuaded of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ, as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, who were all partakers of my grace, both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness how I long for you all, with the bowels of Jesus Christ, and this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more, in all knowledge, and in all spiritual sense, that ye may try the things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offense unto the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Christ Jesus, to the glory and praise of God.
Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things concerning me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel: So that my bonds in Christ have been made manifest in the whole palace, and to all others: And many of the brethren, trusting in the Lord through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word without fear.
Some indeed preach Christ even through envy and strife: But some through good will. The one preach Christ out of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the others out of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? still every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached: And in this I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ: According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall be ashamed in nothing, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor, and what I should choose, I know not. For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being persuaded of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith: That your rejoicing for me may abound through Christ Jesus by my presence with you again. Only let your behavior be worthy of the gospel of Christ, that whether I come and see you, or be absent, I may hear concerning you that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation. This also is of God. For to you it is given with regard to Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him: Having the same conflict, which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
If there be then any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies; fulfil ye my joy, that ye think the same thing, having the same love, being of one soul, of one mind. Do nothing through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, esteem each the others better than themselves. Aim not every one at his own things, but every one also at the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God counted it no act of robbery to be equal with God; yet emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee might bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and those under the earth; and every tongue might confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you according to his good pleasure, both to will and to do. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and simple, the sons of God, unrebukable, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Holding fast the word of life, that I may glory in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and congratulate you all. For the same cause rejoice ye likewise and congratulate me. Now I trust in the Lord Jesus, to send Timotheus to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged, when I know your state, For I have none like-minded who will naturally care for what concerneth you. For all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. But ye know the proof of him, that as a son with his father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send as soon as ever I know how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. Yet I thought it necessary to send also to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and him that ministered to my need. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because ye had heard that he was sick. He was indeed sick nigh unto death; but God had compassion on him; and not on him only, but on me likewise, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I have sent him therefore the more willingly, that ye seeing him again may rejoice, and that I also may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and honor such. Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his own life, to supply your deficiency of service toward me.
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, is not tedious to me, and it is safe for you. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man be fully persuaded that he may have confidence in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, touching the law, a Pharisee; touching zeal, persecuting the Church, touching the righteousness which is by the law, blameless. But whatsoever things were gain to me, those I have accounted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I account all things to be loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do account them but dung, that I may gain Christ; and be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death: If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected: But I pursue if I may apprehend that for which I was also apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not account myself to have apprehended: But one thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth unto the things which are before, I press toward the goal, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded; and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you; but whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them who walk as ye have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ. Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able even to subject all things to himself.
Therefore, my brethren, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved. I beseech Enodias, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women who labored together with me in the gospel, with both Clement and my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men; the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things; the things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do: And the God of peace shall be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful; but ye wanted opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: Every where and in every thing I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry; both to abound and to want. I can do all things through Christ strengthening me. Nevertheless ye have done well, that ye did communicate to me in my affliction. And ye know likewise, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no Church communicated with me in respect of giving and receiving, but you only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again to my necessities. Not that I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all things, and abound; I am filled, having received of Epaphroditus the things which came from you, an odor of a sweet smell, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus. Now unto our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me salute you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.