For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him a will not be put to shame."
To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,"
and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, b in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge. c13
For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, d whether of the emperor as supreme,
or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.
For it is God's will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish.
As servants e of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)