1Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3#Ps 34.8. if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Christ the Living Stone
4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6#Isa 28.16. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture,
Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:
and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 # Ps 118.22. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient,
the stone which the builders disallowed,
the same is made the head of the corner,
8 # Isa 8.14,15. and a stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense,
even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
God's Own People
9 # Exod 19.5,6; Deut 4.20; 7.6; 14.2; 26.18; Titus 2.14. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 10#Hos 2.23. which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Live as Servants of God
11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
The Example of Christ's Suffering
18Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22#Isa 53.9. who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23#Isa 53.7. who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24#Isa 53.5. who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25#Isa 53.6. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.