21 Therefore , putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander , 2 like newborn babies , long for the pure milk of the word , so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation , 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord .

Christ the Living Stone

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men , but is choice and precious in the sight of God , 5 you also , as living stones , are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood , to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . 6 For this is contained in Scripture : " BEHOLD , I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE , A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED ." 7 This precious value , then , is for you who believe ; but for those who disbelieve , " THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED , THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," 8 and, " A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE "; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word , and to this doom they were also appointed .

God's Own People

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE , A royal PRIESTHOOD , A HOLY NATION , A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION , so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE , but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD ; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY , but now you have RECEIVED MERCY .

Live as Servants of God

11 Beloved , I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul . 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles , so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers , they may because of your good deeds , as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation .

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution , whether to a king as the one in authority , 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right . 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men . 16 Act as free men , and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil , but use it as bondslaves of God . 17 Honor all people , love the brotherhood , fear God , honor the king .

The Example of Christ's Suffering

18 Servants , be submissive to your masters with all respect , not only to those who are good and gentle , but also to those who are unreasonable . 19 For this finds favor , if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly . 20 For what credit is there if , when you sin and are harshly treated , you endure it with patience ? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God . 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps , 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN , NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH ; 23 and while being reviled , He did not revile in return ; while suffering , He uttered no threats , but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously ; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross , so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness ; for by His wounds you were healed . 25 For you were continually straying like sheep , but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls .