1 So once for all get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all sorts of slander, 2 and like new-born babies thirst for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to final salvation, 3 since you have learned by experience that the Lord is kind. 4 Keep on coming to Him, as to a living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious in His sight, 5 and keep on building yourselves up, as living stones, into a spiritual house for a consecrated priesthood, to offer up, through Jesus Christ, spiritual sacrifices that will be acceptable to God. 6 It must be so, because the Scriptures say: "Here now I lay in Zion a chosen stone, a costly cornerstone, And not a single one who puts his trust in Him will ever be put to shame."
7 So to you who put your trust in Him the honor belongs, but to those who fail to trust Him: "That stone which then the builders threw away Has now become the cornerstone,"
8 and: "A stone for them to stumble over and a rock to trip them up." They keep on stumbling over the message, because they are disobedient to it, and this is their appointed doom.
9 But you are the chosen race, the royal priesthood, the consecrated nation, the people to be His very own, to proclaim the perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once His mercy had not been shown you, but now it has.
11 Dearly beloved, I beg you as aliens and exiles to keep on abstaining from the evil desires of your lower nature, because they are always at war with the soul. 12 Keep on living upright lives among the heathen, so that, when they slander you as evildoers, by what they see of your good deeds they may come to praise God on the judgment day.
13 For the Lord's sake submit to all human authority; to the emperor as supreme, 14 and to governors as sent by Him to punish those who do evil and to reward those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing right you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live like free men, only do not make your freedom a pretext for doing evil, but live like slaves of God. 17 Show honor to everyone. Practice love for the brotherhood; practice reverence to God and honor to the Emperor.
18 You house-servants must be submissive to your masters and show them perfect respect, not only to those who are kind and fair but also to those who are cruel. 19 For it is pleasing in the sight of God for one to bear his sorrows though suffering innocently. 20 For what credit is it to bear it patiently, if you do wrong and are beaten for it? But if you do right and patiently suffer for it, it is pleasing in the sight of God.
21 Indeed, it was to this kind of living that you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you might follow His footsteps. 22 He never committed a sin, and deceit was never found on His lips. 23 Although He was abused, He never retorted; although He continued to suffer, He never threatened, but committed His case to Him who judges justly. 24 He bore our sins in His own body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to uprightness. By His wounds you have been healed, 25 for once you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of Your souls.