1Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,2as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.4Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,5you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."7Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"8and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.11Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,12having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.13Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme,14or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.15For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--16as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.19For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.20For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.21For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:22"Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";23who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.25For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
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