1 From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To God's chosen people who are away from their homes and are scattered all around the countries of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God planned long ago to choose you by making you his holy people, which is the Spirit's work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood of the death of Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be yours more and more. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God's great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. 4 Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are kept in heaven for you. 5 God's power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. 6 This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. 7 These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. 8 You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. 9 And you are receiving the goal of your faith -- the salvation of your souls. 10 The prophets searched carefully and tried to learn about this salvation. They prophesied about the grace that was coming to you. 11 The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, telling in advance about the sufferings of Christ and about the glory that would follow those sufferings. The prophets tried to learn about what the Spirit was showing them, when those things would happen, and what the world would be like at that time. 12 It was shown them that their service was not for themselves but for you, when they told about the truths you have now heard. Those who preached the Good News to you told you those things with the help of the Holy Spirit who was sent from heaven -- things into which angels desire to look. 13 So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ is shown to you. 14 Now that you are obedient children of God do not live as you did in the past. You did not understand, so you did the evil things you wanted. 15 But be holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy. 16 It is written in the Scriptures: "You must be holy, because I am holy." 17 You pray to God and call him Father, and he judges each person's work equally. So while you are here on earth, you should live with respect for God. 18 You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 20 Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake. 21 Through Christ you believe in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave him glory. So your faith and your hope are in God. 22 Now that you have made your souls pure by obeying the truth, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 You have been born again, and this new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God's living message that continues forever. 24 The Scripture says, "All people are like the grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass dies and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord will live forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. 2 As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can grow up and be saved, 3 because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is. 4 Come to the Lord Jesus, the "stone" that lives. The people of the world did not want this stone, but he was the stone God chose, and he was precious. 5 You also are like living stones, so let yourselves be used to build a spiritual temple -- to be holy priests who offer spiritual sacrifices to God. He will accept those sacrifices through Jesus Christ. 6 The Scripture says: "I will put a stone in the ground in Jerusalem. Everything will be built on this important and precious rock. Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed." 7 This stone is worth much to you who believe. But to the people who do not believe, "the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." 8 Also, he is "a stone that causes people to stumble, a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they do not obey what God says, which is what God planned to happen to them. 9 But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 At one time you were not a people, but now you are God's people. In the past you had never received mercy, but now you have received God's mercy. 11 Dear friends, you are like foreigners and strangers in this world. I beg you to avoid the evil things your bodies want to do that fight against your soul. 12 People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again. 13 For the Lord's sake, yield to the people who have authority in this world: the king, who is the highest authority, 14 and the leaders who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 It is God's desire that by doing good you should stop foolish people from saying stupid things about you. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God. 17 Show respect for all people: Love the brothers and sisters of God's family, respect God, honor the king. 18 Slaves, yield to the authority of your masters with all respect, not only those who are good and kind, but also those who are dishonest. 19 A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair, but if he thinks of God and stands the pain, God is pleased. 20 If you are beaten for doing wrong, there is no reason to praise you for being patient in your punishment. But if you suffer for doing good, and you are patient, then God is pleased. 21 This is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and gave you an example to follow. So you should do as he did. 22 "He had never sinned, and he had never lied." 23 People insulted Christ, but he did not insult them in return. Christ suffered, but he did not threaten. He let God, the One who judges rightly, take care of him. 24 Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right. And you are healed because of his wounds. 25 You were like sheep that wandered away, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Protector of your souls.
1 In the same way, you wives should yield to your husbands. Then, if some husbands do not obey God's teaching, they will be persuaded to believe without anyone's saying a word to them. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live. 2 Your husbands will see the pure lives you live with your respect for God. 3 It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. 4 No, your beauty should come from within you -- the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God. 5 In this same way the holy women who lived long ago and followed God made themselves beautiful, yielding to their own husbands. 6 Sarah obeyed Abraham, her husband, and called him her master. And you women are true children of Sarah if you always do what is right and are not afraid. 7 In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you. But show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing he gives you -- the grace that gives true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers. 8 Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble. 9 Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing. 10 The Scripture says, "A person must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days. He must not say evil things, and he must not tell lies. 11 He must stop doing evil and do good. He must look for peace and work for it. 12 The Lord sees the good people and listens to their prayers. those who do evil." 13 If you are trying hard to do good, no one can really hurt you. 14 But even if you suffer for doing right, you are blessed. "Don't be afraid of what they fear; do not dread those things." 15 But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, 16 but answer in a gentle way and with respect. Keep a clear conscience so that those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed. 17 It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong if that is what God wants. 18 Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. 19 And in the spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who refused to obey God long ago in the time of Noah. God was waiting patiently for them while Noah was building the boat. Only a few people -- eight in all -- were saved by water. 21 And that water is like baptism that now saves you -- not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. 22 Now Jesus has gone into heaven and is at God's right side ruling over angels, authorities, and powers.
1 Since Christ suffered while he was in his body, strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking Christ had. The person who has suffered in the body is finished with sin. 2 Strengthen yourselves so that you will live here on earth doing what God wants, not the evil things people want. 3 In the past you wasted too much time doing what nonbelievers enjoy. You were guilty of sexual sins, evil desires, drunkenness, wild and drunken parties, and hateful idol worship. 4 Nonbelievers think it is strange that you do not do the many wild and wasteful things they do, so they insult you. 5 But they will have to explain this to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the Good News was preached to those who are now dead. Even though they were judged like all people, the Good News was preached to them so they could live in the spirit as God lives. 7 The time is near when all things will end. So think clearly and control yourselves so you will be able to pray. 8 Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause many sins to be forgiven. 9 Open your homes to each other, without complaining. 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God's various gifts of grace. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 12 My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But be happy that you are sharing in Christ's sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory. 14 When people insult you because you follow Christ, you are blessed, because the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you. 15 Do not suffer for murder, theft, or any other crime, nor because you trouble other people. 16 But if you suffer because you are a Christian, do not be ashamed. Praise God because you wear that name. 17 It is time for judgment to begin with God's family. And if that judging begins with us, what will happen to those people who do not obey the Good News of God? 18 "If it is very hard for a good person to be saved, the wicked person and the sinner will surely be lost!" 19 So those who suffer as God wants should trust their souls to the faithful Creator as they continue to do what is right.
1 Now I have something to say to the elders in your group. I also am an elder. I have seen Christ's sufferings, and I will share in the glory that will be shown to us. I beg you to 2 shepherd God's flock, for whom you are responsible. Watch over them because you want to, not because you are forced. That is how God wants it. Do it because you are happy to serve, not because you want money. 3 Do not be like a ruler over people you are responsible for, but be good examples to them. 4 Then when Christ, the Chief Shepherd, comes, you will get a glorious crown that will never lose its beauty. 5 In the same way, younger people should be willing to be under older people. And all of you should be very humble with each other. "God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble." 6 Be humble under God's powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes. 7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. 8 Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. 9 Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever. 11 All power is his forever and ever. Amen. 12 I wrote this short letter with the help of Silas, who I know is a faithful brother in Christ. I wrote to encourage you and to tell you that this is the true grace of God. Stand strong in that grace. 13 The church in Babylon, who was chosen like you, sends you greetings. Mark, my son in Christ, also greets you. 14 Give each other a kiss of Christian love when you meet. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.