1 So get rid of1 all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 And2 yearn3 like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk,4 so that by it you may grow up to5 salvation,6 3 if you have experienced7 the Lord’s kindness.8
A Living Stone, a Chosen People
4 So as you come to him,9 a living stone rejected by men but10 chosen and priceless11 in God’s sight, 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer12 spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says13 in scripture, “Look,I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone,14 and whoever believes15 in him16 will never17 be put to shame.”18 7 So you who believe see19 his value,20 but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the21 cornerstone,22 8 and a stumbling-stone23 and a rock to trip over.24 They stumble25 because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.26 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues27 of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You28 once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy,29 but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 12 and maintain good conduct30 among the non-Christians,31 so that though32 they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.33
Submission to Authorities
13 Be subject to every human institution34 for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 14 or to governors as those he commissions35 to punish wrongdoers and praise36 those who do good. 15 For God wants you37 to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 Live38 as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves.39 17 Honor all people, love the family of believers,40 fear God, honor the king.
18 Slaves,41 be subject42 to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 19 For this finds God’s favor,43 if because of conscience toward God44 someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20 For 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.45 21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He46 committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth.47 23 When he was maligned, he48 did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened49 no retaliation,50 but committed himself to God51 who judges justly. 24 He52 himself bore our sins53 in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning54 and live for righteousness. By his55 wounds56 you were healed.57 25 For you were going astray like sheep58 but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.