1 Peter 2 (Today's New International Version)

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1 Therefore, rid yourselves1 of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander2 of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,3 so that by it you may grow up4 in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.5

The Living Stone and a Chosen People

4 As you come to him, the living Stone6--rejected by human beings but chosen by God7 and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built8 into a spiritual housea9 to be a holy priesthood,10 offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.11 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,12 and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."b13 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,14 "The stone the builders rejected15 has become the cornerstone,"c16 8 and, "A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."d17 They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.18 9 But you are a chosen people,19 a royal priesthood,20 a holy nation,21 God's special possession,22 that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.23 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;24 once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

11 Dear friends,25 I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,26 to abstain from sinful desires,27 which war against your soul.28 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds29 and glorify God30 on the day he visits us. 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority:31 whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong32 and to commend those who do right.33 15 For it is God's will34 that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish.35 16 Live as free people,36 but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;37 live as God's slaves.38 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers,39 fear God, honor the emperor.40 18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters,41 not only to those who are good and considerate,42 but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if you bear up under the pain of unjust suffering because you are conscious of God.43 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.44 21 To this45 you were called,46 because Christ suffered for you,47 leaving you an example,48 that you should follow in his steps. 22 "He committed no sin,49 and no deceit was found in his mouth."e50 23 When they hurled their insults at him,51 he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.52 Instead, he entrusted himself53 to him who judges justly.54 24 "He himself bore our sins"55 in his body on the cross,56 so that we might die to sins57 and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."58 25 For "you were like sheep going astray,"f59 but now you have returned to the Shepherd60 and Overseer of your souls.61
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