1I, Peter, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am sending this letter to you, God's chosen people. You are strangers in the world. You are scattered all over Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.2You have been chosen in keeping with what God the Father had planned. That happened through the Spirit's work to make you pure and holy. God chose you so that you might obey Jesus Christ. He wanted you to be made clean by the blood of Christ. May more and more grace and peace be given to you.3Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a hope that is alive. It is alive because Jesus Christ rose from the dead.4He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. It is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you.5Through faith you are kept safe by God's power. Your salvation is going to be completed. It is ready to be shown to you in the last days.6Because you know this, you have great joy. You have joy even though you may have had to suffer for a little while. You may have had to suffer sadness in all kinds of trouble.7Your troubles have come in order to prove that your faith is real. It is worth more than gold. Gold can pass away even though fire has made it pure. Your faith is meant to bring praise, honor and glory to God. That will happen when Jesus Christ returns.8Even though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, you believe in him. You are filled with a glorious joy that can't be put into words.9You are receiving the salvation of your souls. It is the result of your faith.10The prophets searched very hard and with great care to find out about that salvation. They spoke about the grace that was going to come to you.11They wanted to find out when that salvation would come. The Spirit of Christ in them was telling them about the sufferings of Christ that were going to come. He was also telling them about the glory that would follow.12It was made known to the prophets that they were not serving themselves. Instead, they were serving you when they spoke about the things that you have now heard. Those who have preached the good news to you have told you those things. They have done it with the help of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into those things.13So prepare your minds for action. Control yourselves. Put your hope completely in the grace that will be given to you when Jesus Christ returns.14You should obey. You shouldn't give in to evil longings. They controlled your life when you didn't know any better.15The one who chose you is holy. So you should be holy in all that you do.16It is written, "Be holy, because I am holy."(Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2)17You call on a Father who judges each person's work without favoring one over another. So live your lives as strangers here. Have the highest respect for God.18The blood of Christ set you free from an empty way of life. That way of life was handed down to you by your own people long ago. You know that you were not bought with things that can pass away, like silver or gold.19Instead, you were bought by the priceless blood of Christ. He is a perfect lamb. He doesn't have any flaws at all.20He was chosen before God created the world. But he came into the world in these last days for you.21Because of what Christ has done, you believe in God. It was God who raised him from the dead. And it was God who gave him glory. So your faith and hope are in God.22You have made yourselves pure by obeying the truth. So you have an honest and true love for your brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply, from the heart.23You have been born again by means of the living word of God. His word lasts forever. You were not born again from a seed that will die. You were born from a seed that can't die.24It is written, "All people are like grass. All of their glory is like the flowers in the field. The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground.25But the word of the Lord stands forever." (Isaiah 40:6-8) And that word was preached to you.
1So get rid of every kind of evil. Stop telling lies. Don't pretend to be something you are not. Stop wanting what others have. Don't speak against each other.2Like babies that were just born, you should long for the pure milk of God's word. It will help you grow up as believers.3You can do it now that you have tasted how good the Lord is.4Christ is the living Stone. People did not accept him. But God chose him. God places the highest value on him.5You also are like living stones. As you come to him you are being built into a house for worship. There you will be holy priests. You will offer spiritual sacrifices. God will accept them because of what Jesus Christ has done.6In Scripture it says, "Look! I am placing a stone in Zion. It is a chosen and very valuable stone. It is the most important stone in the building. The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." (Isaiah 28:16)7The stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe, "The stone the builders did not accept has become the most important stone of all." (Psalm 118:22)8And, "It is a stone that causes people to trip. It is a rock that makes them fall." (Isaiah 8:14) They trip and fall because they do not obey the message. That is also what God planned for them.9But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are a people who belong to God. All of this is so that you can sing his praises. He brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.10Once you were not a people. But now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy.11Dear friends, you are outsiders and strangers in this world. So I'm asking you not to give in to your sinful longings. They fight against your soul.12People who don't believe might say you are doing wrong. But lead good lives among them. Then they will see your good works. And they will give glory to God on the day he comes to judge.13Follow the lead of every human authority. Do it because the Lord wants you to. Obey the king. He is the highest authority.14Obey the governors. The king sends them to punish those who do wrong. He also sends them to praise those who do right.15By doing good you will put a stop to the talk of foolish people. They don't know what they are saying. God wants you to stop them.16Live like free people. But don't use your freedom to cover up evil. Live like people who serve God.17Show proper respect to everyone. Love the community of believers. Have respect for God. Honor the king.18Slaves, obey your masters with all the respect you should give them. Obey not only those who are good and kind. Obey also those who are not kind.19Suppose a person suffers pain unfairly because he wants to obey God. That is worthy of praise.20But suppose you receive a beating for doing wrong, and you put up with it. Will anyone honor you for that? Of course not. But suppose you suffer for doing good, and you put up with it. God will praise you for that.21Christ suffered for you. He left you an example. He expects you to follow in his steps. You too were chosen to suffer.22Scripture says, "He didn't commit any sin. No lies ever came out of his mouth." (Isaiah 53:9)23People shouted at him and made fun of him. But he didn't do the same back to them. He suffered. But he didn't say that bad things would happen to them. Instead, he trusted in the One who judges fairly.24He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole.25You were like sheep who were wandering away. But now you have returned to the Shepherd. He is the Leader of your souls.
1Wives, follow the lead of your husbands. Suppose some of them don't believe God's word. Then let them be won to Christ without words by seeing how their wives behave.2Let them see how pure you are. Let them see that your lives are full of respect for God.3Braiding your hair doesn't make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn't make you beautiful.4Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like that doesn't fade away. God places great value on it.5This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands.6Sarah was like that. She obeyed Abraham. She called him her master. Do you want to be like her? Then do what is right. And don't give in to fear.7Husbands, take good care of your wives. They are weaker than you. So treat them with respect. Honor them as those who will share with you the gracious gift of life. Then nothing will stand in the way of your prayers.8Finally, I want all of you to live together in peace. Be understanding. Love one another like members of the same family. Be kind and tender. Don't be proud.9Don't pay back evil with evil. Don't pay back unkind words with unkind words. Instead, pay them back with kind words. That's what you have been chosen to do. You can receive a blessing by doing it.10Scripture says, "Do you want to love life and see good days? Then keep your tongues from speaking evil. Keep your lips from telling lies.11Turn away from evil, and do good. Look for peace, and go after it.12The Lord's eyes look with favor on those who are godly. His ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord doesn't look with favor on those who do evil." (Psalm 34:12-16)13Who is going to hurt you if you really want to do good?14But suppose you suffer for doing what is right. Then you will be blessed. Scripture also says, "Don't fear what others fear. Don't be afraid."(Isaiah 8:12)15But make sure in your hearts that Christ is Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect.16Live so that you don't have to feel you've done anything wrong. Some people may say evil things about your good conduct as believers in Christ. If they do, they will be put to shame for speaking like that about you.17It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil if that's what God wants.18Christ died for sins once and for all time. The One who did what is right died for those who don't do right. He died to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought him back to life.19By means of the Spirit, Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison.20Long ago they did not obey. God was patient while Noah was building the ark. He waited, but only a few people went into the ark. A total of eight were saved by means of water.21The water of the flood is a picture of the baptism that now saves you also. The baptism I'm talking about has nothing to do with removing dirt from your body. Instead, it promises God that you will keep a clear sense of what is right and wrong. Jesus Christ has saved you by rising from the dead.22He has gone into heaven. He is at God's right hand. Angels, authorities and powers are under his control.
1Christ suffered in his body. So get ready as a soldier does. Prepare yourselves to think in the same way Christ did. Do it because those who have suffered in their bodies are finished with sin.2As a result, they don't live the rest of their lives on earth controlled by evil human longings. Instead, they live to do what God wants.3You have spent enough time in the past doing what ungodly people choose to do. You lived a wild life. You longed for evil things. You got drunk. You went to wild parties. You worshiped statues of gods. The Lord hates that.4Ungodly people think that it's strange when you no longer join them in what they do. They want you to rush into the same flood of wasteful living. So they say bad things about you.5But they will have to explain their actions to God. He is ready to judge the living and the dead.6That's why the good news was preached even to people who are now dead. Human judges said they were guilty as far as their bodies were concerned. But God set their spirits free to live as he wanted them to.7The end of all things is near. So keep a clear mind. Control yourselves. Then you can pray.8Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them.9Welcome others into your homes without complaining.10God's gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully.11If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God's very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.12Dear friends, don't be surprised by the painful suffering you are going through. Don't feel as if something strange were happening to you.13Be joyful that you are taking part in Christ's sufferings. Then you will be filled with joy when Christ returns in glory.14Suppose people make fun of you because you believe in Christ. Then you are blessed, because God's Spirit rests on you. He is the Spirit of glory.15Suppose you suffer. Then it shouldn't be because you are a murderer or a thief. It shouldn't be because you do evil things. It shouldn't be because you poke your nose into other people's business.16But suppose you suffer for being a Christian. Then don't be ashamed. Instead, praise God because you are known by that name.17It is time for people to be judged. It will begin with the family of God. And since it begins with us, what will happen to people who don't obey God's good news?18Scripture says, "Suppose it is hard for godly people to be saved. Then what will happen to ungodly people and sinners?" (Proverbs 11:31)19Some people will suffer because God has planned it that way. They should commit themselves to their faithful Creator. And they should continue to do good.
1I'm speaking to the elders among you. I was a witness of Christ's sufferings. And I will also share in the glory that is going to come. I'm making my appeal to you as one who is an elder together with you.2Be shepherds of God's flock, the believers who are under your care. Serve as their leaders. Don't serve them because you have to. Instead, do it because you want to. That's what God wants you to do. Don't do it because you want to get more and more money. Do it because you really want to serve.3Don't act as if you were a ruler over those who are under your care. Instead, be examples to the flock.4The Chief Shepherd will come again. Then you will receive the crown of glory. It is a crown that will never fade away.5Young men, follow the lead of those who are older. All of you, put on a spirit that is free of pride toward each other as if it were your clothes. Scripture says, "God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are not." (Proverbs 3:34)6So don't be proud. Put yourselves under God's mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time.7Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.8Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow.9Stand up to him. Stand firm in what you believe. All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering.10God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer for a little while. Then God himself will build you up again. He will make you strong and steady. And he has chosen you to share in his eternal glory because you belong to Christ.11Give him the power for ever and ever. Amen.12I consider Silas to be a faithful brother. With his help I have written you this short letter. I have written it to cheer you up. And I have written to give witness about the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.13The members of the church in Babylon send you their greetings. They were chosen together with you. Mark, my son in the faith, also sends you his greetings.14Greet each other with a friendly kiss. May God give peace to all of you who believe in Christ.