So give up all the evil things that you do: all your dishonesty, hypocrisy, and jealousy, all the ways you speak badly about others. 2
You should become like newborn babies who only want pure spiritual milk, so you can grow in salvation 3
now you've tasted how good the Lord really is. 4
As you come to him—the living stone that people rejected as useless, but is chosen by God and precious to him— 5
you also become like living stones, being built into a spiritual house. You are a holy priesthood that offers spiritual sacrifices that God welcomes through Jesus Christ. 6
says, “See! I'm setting in Zion its main cornerstone, specially-chosen and valuable. Whoever trusts in him will not be disappointed.”† 7
He is very valuable to you who do trust. But for those who don't, “The stone the builders rejected that became the main cornerstone”‡ 8
is “The stone that trips you up and the rock that makes you fall.”§
People stumble over this message because they refuse to accept it—which for them is entirely predictable.
9 In complete contrast, you are a specially-chosen family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. Consequently you can reveal the wonderful things he's done, calling you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 In the past you were nobodies, but now you are God's people. In the past you hadn't received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
My friends, I'm pleading with you as foreigners and strangers*
in this world not to give in to physical desires that are in conflict with what is spiritual. 12
Be sure to act appropriately when you're with non-Christians, so even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see the good things you do and glorify God when he comes.†
13 Obey human authority for the Lord's sake, whether it is the king as the highest authority, 14 or governors that God appoints to punish those who do evil and to commend those who do good. 15 By doing what is good and right God wants you to silence the ignorant accusations of foolish people. 16 Yes, you are free people! So don't use your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but live as God's servants. 17 Respect everyone. Show your love to the community of believers. Have reverence for God. Respect the king. 18 If you are a servant then submit to your master—not just those who are good and kind, but those who are harsh masters as well. 19 For this is what grace is: to endure life's pain and unfair suffering, keeping your focus on God. 20 However, there's no credit when you're punished for doing something wrong. But if you suffer for doing what is good and right, and you put up with it, then God's grace is with you.
In fact this is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and gave you an example, so you should follow in his footsteps. 22
He never sinned, he never lied;‡ 23
and when he was badly treated, he didn't retaliate. When he suffered, he didn't threaten to take revenge. He simply placed himself in the hands of the one who always judges rightly. 24
He took the consequences of our sins on himself in his body on the cross, so that we could die to sin and live rightly.§
“By his wounds you are healed.”* 25
At one time you were like sheep who had lost their way,†
but now you've returned to the Shepherd—the one who watches over you.