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1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; 2and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. 3For you have tasted that Adonai is good.
4As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him, 5you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah. 6This is why the Tanakh says,
“Look! I am laying in Tziyon a stone,
a chosen and precious cornerstone;
and whoever rests his trust on it
will certainly not be humiliated.”
7Now to you who keep trusting, he is precious. But to those who are not trusting,
“The very stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone”;
8also he is
a stone that will make people stumble,
a rock over which they will trip.
They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it — as had been planned. 9But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents not to give in to the desires of your old nature, which keep warring against you; 12but to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they now speak against you as evil-doers, they will, as a result of seeing your good actions, give glory to God on the Day of his coming. 13For the sake of the Lord, submit yourselves to every human authority — whether to the emperor as being supreme, 14or to governors as being sent by him to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do what is good. 15For it is God’s will that your doing good should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16Submit as people who are free, but not letting your freedom serve as an excuse for evil; rather, submit as God’s slaves. 17Be respectful to all — keep loving the brotherhood, fearing God and honoring the emperor.
18Household servants, submit yourselves to your masters, showing them full respect — and not only those who are kind and considerate, but also those who are harsh. 19For it is a grace when someone, because he is mindful of God, bears up under the pain of undeserved punishment. 20For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. 21Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps.
22“He committed no sin,
nor was any deceit found on his lips.”
23When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness — by his wounds you were healed. 25For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you.