1 Rid yourselves therefore of all ill-will and all deceitfulness, of insincerity and envy, and of all evil speaking. 2 Thirst, like newly-born infants, for pure milk for the soul, that by it you may grow up to salvation; 3 if you have had any experience of the goodness of the Lord. 4 Come to Him, the ever-living Stone, rejected indeed by men as worthless, but in God's esteem chosen and held in honour. 5 And be yourselves also like living stones that are being built up into a spiritual house, to become a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it is contained in Scripture, "See, I am placing on Mount Zion a Cornerstone, chosen, and held in honour, and he whose faith rests on Him shall never have reason to feel ashamed."
7 To you believers, therefore, that honour belongs; but for unbelievers-- "A Stone which the builders rejected has been made the Cornerstone,"
8 and "a Stone for the foot to strike against, and a Rock to stumble over." Their foot strikes against it because they are disobedient to God's Message, and to this they were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen race, a priesthood of kingly lineage, a holy nation, a people belonging specially to God, that you may make known the perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not found mercy, but now you have.
11 Dear friends, I entreat you as pilgrims and foreigners not to indulge the cravings of your lower natures: for all such cravings wage war upon the soul. 12 Live honourable lives among the Gentiles, in order that, although they now speak against you as evil-doers, they may yet witness your good conduct, and may glorify God on the day of reward and retribution.
13 Submit, for the Lord's sake, to every authority set up by man, whether it be to the Emperor as supreme ruler, 14 or to provincial Governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers and the encouragement of those who do what is right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing what is right you should thus silence the ignorant talk of foolish persons. 16 Be free men, and yet do not make your freedom an excuse for base conduct, but be God's bondservants. 17 Honour every one. Love the brotherhood, fear God, honour the Emperor.
18 Household servants, be submissive to your masters, and show them the utmost respect--not only if they are kind and thoughtful, but also if they are unreasonable. 19 For it is an acceptable thing with God, if, from a sense of duty to Him, a man patiently submits to wrong, when treated unjustly. 20 If you do wrong and receive a blow for it, what credit is there in your bearing it patiently? But if when you do right and suffer for it you bear it patiently, this is an acceptable thing with God.
21 And it is to this you were called; because Christ also suffered on your behalf, leaving you an example so that you should follow in His steps. 22 He never sinned, and no deceitful language was ever heard from His mouth. 23 When He was reviled, He did not answer with reviling; when He suffered He uttered no threats, but left His wrongs in the hands of the righteous Judge. 24 The burden of our sins He Himself carried in His own body to the Cross and bore it there, so that we, having died so far as our sins are concerned, may live righteous lives. By His wounds yours have been healed. 25 For you were straying like lost sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Protector of your souls.