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Philippians 1 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Serve Others with Joy

From Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ.

To all of God’s holy people in Christ Jesus who live in Philippi. And to your overseers and deacons.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Prayer

I thank God every time I remember you. And I always pray for all of you with joy. I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News. You helped from the first day you believed until now. God began doing a good work in you. And he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again. I am sure of that.

And I know that I am right to think like this about all of you. I am sure because I have you in my heart. All of you share in God’s grace with me. You share in God’s grace with me while I am in prison, while I am defending the Good News, and while I am proving the truth of the Good News. God knows that I want to see you very much. I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus.

This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10 that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11 that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God.

Paul’s Troubles Help the Work

12 Brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the Good News. 13 I am in prison because I am a believer in Christ. All the palace guards and everyone else knows this. 14 I am still in prison, but most of the believers feel better about it now. And so they are much braver about telling the Good News about Christ.

15 It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous and bitter. But others preach about Christ because they want to help. 16 They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. 17 But others preach about Christ because they are selfish. Their reason for preaching is wrong. They want to make trouble for me in prison.

18 But I do not care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are preaching about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for wrong reasons. And I will continue to be happy. 19 You are praying for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me. So I know that this trouble will bring my freedom. 20 The thing I want and hope for is that I will not fail Christ in anything. I hope that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth. I want to do that if I die or if I live. 21 To me the only important thing about living is Christ. And even death would be profit for me. 22 If I continue living in the body, I will be able to work for the Lord. But what should I choose—living or dying? I do not know. 23 It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ. That is much better. 24 But you need me here in my body. 25 I know that you need me, and so I know that I will stay with you. I will help you grow and have joy in your faith. 26 You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again.

27 Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ. Then whether I come and visit you or am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will hear that you continue strong with one purpose and that you work together as a team for the faith of the Good News. 28 And you will not be afraid of those who are against you. All of these things are proof from God that you will be saved and that your enemies will be lost. 29 God gave you the honor both of believing in Christ and suffering for Christ. Both these things bring glory to Christ. 30 When I was with you, you saw the struggles I had. And you hear about the struggles I am having now. You yourselves are having the same kind of struggles.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

Philippians 1 New International Version (NIV)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 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! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Life Worthy of the Gospel

27 Whatever happens, conduct 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 in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened 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. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.


  1. Philippians 1:1 The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in Romans 16:1 and 1 Tim. 3:8,12.
  2. Philippians 1:12 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  3. Philippians 1:13 Or whole palace
  4. Philippians 1:19 Or vindication; or salvation
  5. Philippians 1:27 Or in one spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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