1So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation, 3if you have experienced the Lord’s kindness.
A Living Stone, a Chosen People
4So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God’s sight, 5you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame.” 7So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 12and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.
Submission to Authorities
13Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 14or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. 15For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the king.
18Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 19For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 21For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.