1So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
Living Stones for God’s House
4You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.
5And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.# Greek holy priesthood. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6As the Scriptures say,
“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,# Greek in Zion.
chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
will never be disgraced.”# Isa 28:16 (Greek version).
7Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him.# Or Yes, for you who believe, there is honor. But for those who reject him,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”# Ps 118:22.
“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”# Isa 8:14.
They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.
9But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,# Greek a royal priesthood. a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
10“Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.”# Hos 1:6, 9; 2:23.
11Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.# Or on the day of visitation.
Respecting People in Authority
13For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.# Greek love the brotherhood. Fear God, and respect the king.
18You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect.# Or because you fear God; Greek reads in all fear. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered# Some manuscripts read died. for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.# Isa 53:9.
23He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.