The Living Stone and a Holy People
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up into your salvation, 3if you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to him, a living stone — rejected by people but chosen and honored by God — 5you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in Scripture:
See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and honored cornerstone,
and the one who believes in him
will never be put to shame.
7So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving,
The stone that the builders rejected —
this one has become the cornerstone,
A stone to stumble over,
and a rock to trip over.
They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.
9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
A Call to Good Works
11Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul. 12Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.
13Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority 14or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. 15For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. 17Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Submission of Slaves to Masters
18Household slaves, submit to your masters with all reverence not only to the good and gentle ones but also to the cruel. 19For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
21For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; 23when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.