2 So get rid of 1 all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 And 2 yearn 3 like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, 4 so that by it you may grow up to 5 salvation, 6 3 if you have experienced 7 the Lord’s kindness. 8
A Living Stone, a Chosen People
4 So as you come to him, 9 a living stone rejected by men but 10 chosen and priceless 11 in God’s sight, 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer 12 spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says 13 in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, 14 and whoever believes 15 in him 16 will never 17 be put to shame.” 18 7 So you who believe see 19 his value, 20 but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the 21 cornerstone, 22 8 and a stumbling-stone 23 and a rock to trip over. 24 They stumble 25 because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 26 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues 27 of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You 28 once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, 29 but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 12 and maintain good conduct 30 among the non-Christians, 31 so that though 32 they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears. 33
Submission to Authorities
13 Be subject to every human institution 34 for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 14 or to governors as those he commissions 35 to punish wrongdoers and praise 36 those who do good. 15 For God wants you 37 to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 Live 38 as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. 39 17 Honor all people, love the family of believers, 40 fear God, honor the king.
18 Slaves, 41 be subject 42 to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 19 For this finds God’s favor, 43 if because of conscience toward God 44 someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 45 21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He 46 committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 47 23 When he was maligned, he 48 did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened 49 no retaliation, 50 but committed himself to God 51 who judges justly. 24 He 52 himself bore our sins 53 in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning 54 and live for righteousness. By his 55 wounds 56 you were healed. 57 25 For you were going astray like sheep 58 but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
Wives and Husbands
3 In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, 1 even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live, 2 2 when they see your pure and reverent conduct. 3 3 Let your 4 beauty 5 not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry 6 or fine clothes – 4 but the inner person 7 of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. 5 For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands, 6 like Sarah who obeyed 8 Abraham, calling him lord. You become her children 9 when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so. 10 7 Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners 11 and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers. 12
Suffering for Doing Good
8 Finally, all of you be harmonious, 13 sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble. 9 Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless 14 others 15 because you were called to inherit a blessing. 10 For
the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep 16 his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit.
11 And he must turn away from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are 17 upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil. 18
13 For 19 who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But in fact, if you happen to suffer 20 for doing what is right, 21 you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them 22 or be shaken. 23 15 But set Christ 24 apart 25 as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 26 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, 27 keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 28 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, 29 than for doing evil. 18 30
Because Christ also suffered 31 once for sins,
the just for the unjust, 32
to bring you to God,
by being put to death in the flesh
but 33 by being made alive in the spirit. 34
19 In it 35 he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 36
20 after they were disobedient long ago 37 when God patiently waited 38 in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark 39 a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. 21 And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you 40 – not the washing off of physical dirt 41 but the pledge 42 of a good conscience to God – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God 43 with angels and authorities and powers subject to him. 44
4 So, since Christ suffered 1 in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin, 2 2 in that he spends the rest of his time 3 on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires. 3 For the time that has passed was sufficient for you to do what the non-Christians 4 desire. 5 You lived then 6 in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, carousing, drinking bouts, 7 and wanton idolatries. 8 4 So 9 they are astonished 10 when you do not rush with them into the same flood of wickedness, and they vilify you. 11 5 They will face a reckoning before 12 Jesus Christ 13 who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 Now it was for this very purpose 14 that the gospel was preached to those who are now dead, 15 so that though 16 they were judged in the flesh 17 by human standards 18 they may live spiritually 19 by God’s standards. 20
Service, Suffering, and Judgment
7 For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer. 21 8 Above all keep 22 your love for one another fervent, 23 because love covers a multitude of sins. 24 9 Show hospitality 25 to one another without complaining. 10 Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another 26 as good stewards of the varied grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, let it be with 27 God’s words. 28 Whoever serves, do so with the strength 29 that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong 30 the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, do not be astonished 31 that a trial by fire is occurring among you, 32 as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed 33 you may also rejoice and be glad. 34 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, 35 who is the Spirit of God, 36 rests 37 on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. 38 16 But if you suffer as a Christian, 39 do not be ashamed, but glorify 40 God that you bear such a name. 41 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house 42 of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate 43 of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of 44 the ungodly and sinners? 45 19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good. 46