1So get rid of every kind of evil. Stop telling lies. Don't pretend to be something you are not. Stop wanting what others have. Don't speak against each other.2Like babies that were just born, you should long for the pure milk of God's word. It will help you grow up as believers.3You can do it now that you have tasted how good the Lord is.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4Christ is the living Stone. People did not accept him. But God chose him. God places the highest value on him.5You also are like living stones. As you come to him you are being built into a house for worship. There you will be holy priests. You will offer spiritual sacrifices. God will accept them because of what Jesus Christ has done.6In Scripture it says, “Look! I am placing a stone in Zion. It is a chosen and very valuable stone. It is the most important stone in the building. The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Isa 28:16)7The stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe, “The stone the builders did not accept has become the most important stone of all.” (Ps 118:22)8And, “It is a stone that causes people to trip. It is a rock that makes them fall.” They trip and fall because they do not obey the message. That is also what God planned for them. (Isa 8:14)9But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are a people who belong to God. All of this is so that you can sing his praises. He brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.10Once you were not a people. But now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy.11Dear friends, you are outsiders and strangers in this world. So I'm asking you not to give in to your sinful longings. They fight against your soul.12People who don't believe might say you are doing wrong. But lead good lives among them. Then they will see your good works. And they will give glory to God on the day he comes to judge.
Obey Your Rulers and Masters
13Follow the lead of every human authority. Do it because the Lord wants you to. Obey the king. He is the highest authority.14Obey the governors. The king sends them to punish those who do wrong. He also sends them to praise those who do right.15By doing good you will put a stop to the talk of foolish people. They don't know what they are saying. God wants you to stop them.16Live like free people. But don't use your freedom to cover up evil. Live like people who serve God.17Show proper respect to everyone. Love the community of believers. Have respect for God. Honor the king.18Slaves, obey your masters with all the respect you should give them. Obey not only those who are good and kind. Obey also those who are not kind.19Suppose a person suffers pain unfairly because he wants to obey God. That is worthy of praise.20But suppose you receive a beating for doing wrong, and you put up with it. Will anyone honor you for that? Of course not. But suppose you suffer for doing good, and you put up with it. God will praise you for that.21Christ suffered for you. He left you an example. He expects you to follow in his steps. You too were chosen to suffer.22Scripture says, “He didn't commit any sin. No lies ever came out of his mouth.” (Isa 53:9)23People shouted at him and made fun of him. But he didn't do the same back to them. He suffered. But he didn't say that bad things would happen to them. Instead, he trusted in the One who judges fairly.24He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole.25You were like sheep who were wandering away. But now you have returned to the Shepherd. He is the Leader of your souls.
13Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, (Ro 13:1; Tit 3:1)14or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. (Ro 13:3; Ro 13:4)15For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1Pe 2:12)16Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (Ro 6:22; 1Co 7:22; Jas 1:25)17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (Pr 24:21; Ro 12:10; Ro 13:7; Heb 13:1)18Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (Eph 6:5; Col 3:22; 1Ti 6:1; Tit 2:9)19For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (1Pe 3:14; 1Pe 3:17; 1Pe 4:16)20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. (1Pe 3:17; 1Pe 4:13; 1Pe 4:16)21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (Mt 11:29; Ac 14:22; 1Pe 2:20; 1Pe 3:9)22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. (Isa 53:9; 2Co 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1Jo 3:5)23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (Isa 53:7; Lu 23:46; Heb 12:3; 1Pe 3:9)24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (Isa 53:4; Isa 53:5; Isa 53:11; Mt 8:17; Ro 6:2; Ro 6:11; Ro 6:13; Ro 7:4; Ro 7:6; Col 2:20; Col 3:3; Heb 9:28)25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (Ps 119:176; Isa 53:6; Eze 34:6; Lu 15:4; Joh 10:11)