1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
Were the people in Philippi believers?
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.8For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
In what did Paul want them to grow?
12I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.15Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.16The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.17The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
Why did they need to do this?
18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,20as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.23I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
What would they become if they did this?
27Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,28and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.29For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,30engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Why, according to Paul, were some people preaching Christ?