A Living Stone and a Holy People

1 1So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

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2 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual 3milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--

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3 if indeed you have 4tasted that the Lord is good.

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4 As you come to him, a living stone 5rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,

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    • 66 2:4 - ver. 6, 7
      5 6you yourselves like living stones are being built up as 7a spiritual house, to be 8a holy priesthood, 9to offer spiritual sacrifices 10acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

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      6 For it stands in Scripture: 11"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, 12and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

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      7 So the honor is for you who 13believe, but for those who 14do not believe, 15"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"a

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        • b 2:7 - Greek the head of the corner
          8 and 16"A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. "They stumble because they disobey the word, 17as they were destined to do.

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              9 But you are 18a chosen race, 19a royal 20priesthood, 21a holy nation, 22a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you 23out of darkness into 24his marvelous light.

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              10 25Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

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              11 Beloved, I urge you 26as sojourners and exiles 27to abstain from the passions of the flesh, 28which wage war against your soul.

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              12 29Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, 30they may see your good deeds and glorify God on 31the day of visitation.

              Submission to Authority

              13 32Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution,b whether it be to the emperorc as supreme,

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                • c 2:13 - Or every institution ordained for people
                • d 2:13 - Or king; also verse 17
                  14 or to governors as sent by him 33to punish those who do evil and 34to praise those who do good.

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                  15 For this is the will of God, 35that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

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                      16 36Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but 37living as servantsd of God.

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                        • e 2:16 - Greek bondservants
                          17 38Honor everyone. 39Love the brotherhood. 40Fear God. Honor the emperor.

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                          18 41Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

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                          19 For this is a gracious thing, when, 42mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

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                          20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But 43if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

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                          21 For 44to this you have been called, 45because Christ also suffered for you, 46leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

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                              22 47He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

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                              23 48When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, 49but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

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                              24 50He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we 51might die to sin and 52live to righteousness. 53By his wounds you have been healed.

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                              25 For 54you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to 55the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

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