2 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.[G] Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,[H] chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.”[I] 7Yes, you who trust Him recognize the honor God has given Him. But for those who reject Him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”[J] 8And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.”[K] 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,[L] 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.”[M] 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.[N] Respecting People in Authority 13For the Lord’s sake, respect 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 your Christian brothers and sisters.[O] Fear God, and respect the king. Slaves 18You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect.[P] Do what they tell you–not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair 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[Q] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. 22He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.[R] 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.
New Living Translation® / © 2007 Tyndale House Publishers About