and, "A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."a1 They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.29
But you are a chosen people,3 a royal priesthood,4 a holy nation,5 God's special possession,6 that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.710
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;8 once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Dear friends,9 I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,10 to abstain from sinful desires,11 which war against your soul.1212
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds13 and glorify God14 on the day he visits us.
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority:15 whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,
or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong16 and to commend those who do right.1715
For it is God's will18 that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of the foolish.1916
Live as free people,20 but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;21 live as God's slaves.2217
Show proper respect to everyone, love your fellow believers,23 fear God, honor the emperor.2418
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters,25 not only to those who are good and considerate,26 but also to those who are harsh.