For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,1 and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."a27
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,3 "The stone the builders rejected4 has become the capstone,b "c58
and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."d6 They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.79
But you are a chosen people,8 a royal priesthood,9 a holy nation,10 a people belonging to God,11 that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.1210
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;13 once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Dear friends,14 I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world,15 to abstain from sinful desires,16 which war against your soul.1712
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds18 and glorify God19 on the day he visits us.
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority20 instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,
or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong21 and to commend those who do right.2215
For it is God's will23 that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.2416
Live as free men,25 but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;26 live as servants of God.27