The Living Stone and a Holy People
1 So rid yourselves of all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, desire the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it in [your] salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 Coming to Him, a living stone-rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God- 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and valuable cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!
7 So the honor is for you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected- this One has become the cornerstone, and
8 A stone that causes men to stumble, and a rock that trips them up. They stumble by disobeying the message; they were destined for this.
9 But 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. 10 Once 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
11 Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation.
13 Submit to every human institution because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For it is God's will that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 As God's slaves, [live] as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.
Submission of Slaves to Masters
18 Household slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. 19 For it [brings] favor if, because of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if you endure when you sin and are beaten? But when you do good and suffer, if you endure, it brings favor with God.
21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. 22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; 23 when reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounding you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.