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The Epistle of St Paul the Apostle
Unto the Philippians
The 1st Chapter
Paul and Timotheus the servants of *Jesu Christ. To all the saints in Christ Jesu, which are at Philippos, with the Bishops and Deacons. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
Grace be with you and peace from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God with all remembrance of you, always in all my prayers for you and pray with gladness, because of the fellowship which you have in the Gospell from the first day unto now: and am surely certified of this, that he which began a good work in you, shall go forth with it until the day of Jesus Christ as it becomes me so to judge of you all, because I have you in my heart and have you also every one companions of grace with me, even in my bonds, as I defend and establish the Gospell.
For God bears me record how greatly I long after you all from the very heart root in Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may increase more and more in knowledge, and in all feeling, that you might accept things, most excellent, that you might be pure and such as should hurt no mans conscience, until the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness, which fruits come by Jesus Christ unto the glory and laud of God.
I would you understood brethren that my business is happened unto the greater furthering of the Gospell. So that my bonds in Christ are manifest throughout all the judgement hall and in all other places: In so much that many of the brethren in the Lord are boldened through my bonds, and dare more largely speak the word without fear. Some there are which preach Christ of envy and strife, and some of goodwill. The one part preaches Christ of strife and not purely, supposing to add more adversity to my bonds. The other part of love, because they see that I am set to defend to Gospell.
What then? So that Christ be preached all manner ways, whether it be by occasion, or of true meaning, I therein joy: yes and will joy. For I know that this shall chance to my salvation, through your prayer and ministering of the spirit of *Jesu Christ, as I heartily look for and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed: but that with all confidence, as always in times past, even so now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be through life, or else death. For Christ is to me life, and death is to me advantage. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
If it chance me to live in the flesh, that is to me fruitful for to work, and what to choose I wot (know) not, I am constrained of two things: I desire to be loosed and to be with Christ, which thing is best of all. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And this am I sure of, that I shall abide, and with you all continue, for the furtherance and joy of your faith that you may more abundantly rejoice in Jesus Christ through me, by my coming to you again.
Only let your conversation be, as it becomes the Gospell of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may yet hear of you, that you continue in one spirit, and in one soul, laboring as we do, to maintain the faith of the gospell and in nothing fearing your adversaries: which is to them a token of perdition (utter ruin), and to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given, that not only you should believe on Christ: but also suffer for his sake, and have even the same fight which you saw me have and now hear of me.
The 2nd Chapter
If there be among you any consolation in Christ, if there be any comfortable love, if there be any fellowship of the spirit, if there be any compassion of mercy: fulfil my joy, that you draw one way, having one love, being of one accord, and of one mind, that nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but that in meekness of mind every man esteem other (others) better than himself, and look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of other men. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ *Jesu: Which being in the shape of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Nevertheless he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the shape of a servant, and became like unto men, and was found in his apparel as a man. He humbled himself and became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God has exalted him, and given him a name above all names: that in the name of Jesus should every knee bow, both of things in heaven and things in earth and things under earth, and that all tongues should confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord unto the praise of God the father.*Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
Wherefore my dearly beloved, as you have always obeyed not when I was present only, but now much more in mine absence even so work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you, both the will and also the deed even of good will.
Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may be faultless and pure, and the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and a perverse nation, among which see that you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, unto my rejoicing in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither have laboured in vain. Yes and though I be offered up upon the offering and sacrifice of your faith: I rejoice, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also rejoice you, and rejoice you with me.
I trust in the Lord Jesus for to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know what case you stand in. For I have no man that is so like minded to me, which with so pure affection cares for your matters. For all others seek their own, and not that which is Jesus Christs. you know the proof of him, how that as a son with the father, so with me bestowed he his labour upon the Gospell. Him I hope to send as soon as I know how it will go with me. I trust in the Lord, that I also myself shall come shortly.
I supposed it necessary to send brother Epaphreditus unto you, my companion in labour and fellow soldier, your Apostle and my minister at my needs. For he longed after you, and was full of heaviness, because that you had heard say that he should be sick. And no doubt he was sick, and that near unto death. But God had mercy on him: not on him only, but on me also least I should have had sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the diligentlier, that when you should see him, you might rejoice again and I might be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and make much of such: because that for the work of Christ he went so far, that he was near unto death, and regarded not his life, to fulfil that service which was lacking on your part toward me.
The 3rd Chapter
Moreover, my brethren rejoice in the Lord. It grieves me not to write one thing often to you. For to you it is a sure thing. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers. Beware of dissension. For we are circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ *Jesu, and have no confidence in the flesh: though I have whereof I might rejoice in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh: much more I: circumcised the eighth day, of the kindred of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew born of the Hebrews: as concerning the law, a Pharisee, and as concerning ferventness, I persecuted the congregation, and as touching the righteousness which is in the law I was unrebukable.*Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
But the things that were vantage unto me, I counted loss for Christs sake, Yes I think all things but loss for that excellent knowledges sake of Christ Jesu my Lord. For whom I have counted all thing loss, and do judge them but dung, that I might win Christ, and might be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law: But that which springs of the faith which is in Christ. I mean the righteousness which comes of God through faith in knowing him and the virtue of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his passions, that I might be conformable unto his (death) if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained to it, either were already perfect: but I follow, if that I may comprehend that, wherein I am comprehended of Christ Jesu. Brethren I count not myself that I have gotten it: but one thing I say: I forget that which is behind and stretch myself unto that which is before and press unto that mark appointed, to obtain the reward of the high calling of God in Christ Jesu. Let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thuswise minded: and if you be otherwise minded, I pray God open even this unto you. Nevertheless in that whereunto we are come, let us proceed by one rule, that we may be of one accord.
Brethren be followers of me, and look on them which walk even so, as you have us for an example. For many walk (of whom I have told you often, and now tell you weeping) that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is damnation whose God is their belly, and whose glory is to their shame, which are worldly minded. But our conversation is in heaven, from where we look for a saviour, even the Lord Jesus Christ, which shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
The 4th Chapter
Therefore my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so continue in the Lord you beloved. I pray Euodias, and beseech Sintiches that they be of one accord in the Lord. Yes and I beseech you faithful yokefellow, help the women which laboured with me in the gospell, and with Clement also, and with other my labour fellows, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice. Let your softness be known unto all men. The Lord is even at hand. Be not carefull: but in all things show your petition unto God in prayer and supplication with giving of thanks. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ *Jesu. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
Furthermore brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things pertain to love, whatsoever things are of honest report: if there be any virtuous thing, if there be any laudable thing, those same have you in your mind, which you have both learned and received, heard and also seen in me: those things do, and the God of peace shall be with you. I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at the last you are revived again to care for me, in that wherein you were also carefull, but you lacked opportunity. I speak not because of necessity. For I have learned in whatsoever estate I am therewith to be content. I can both cast down myself, I can also exceed. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry: to have plenty, and to suffer need. I can do all things through the help of Christ which strengthens me. Not withstanding you have well done, that you bare part with me in my tribulation.
You of Philippos know that in the beginning of the Gospell, when I departed from Macedonia, no congregation bare part with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only. For when I was in Thessalonica, you sent once and afterward again unto my needs: not that I desire gifts: but I desire abundant fruit on your part. I received all, and have plenty. I was even filled after that I have received of Epaphroditus, that which came from you, an odor that smells sweet, a sacrifice accepted and pleasant to God. My God fulfil all your needs through his glorious riches in Jesu Christ. Unto God and our father be praise for evermore. Amen. Salute all the saints in Christ Jesu. The brethren which are with me, greet you. All the saints salute you: and most of all they which are of the emperors household. The grace of our Lord Jesu Christ be with you all. Amen.
Here ends the epistle of saint Paul the Apostle
unto the Philippians
sent from Rome by Epaphroditus.
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