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Living Stones

So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra. As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk,[a] so that by it you may grow toward salvation— now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. [b] As you come to Him, a living stone[c] rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. For it says in Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone,
    a chosen, precious cornerstone.
    Whoever trusts in Him
    will never be put to shame.”[d]

Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust,

“The stone which the builders rejected—
    this One has become the chief cornerstone,”[e]


“a stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”[f]

They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.[g]

10 Once you were “not a people,”
    but now you are “God’s people.”
You were shown “no mercy,”
    but now you have been shown “mercy.”[h]

11 Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12 Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.

Respect and Order

13 For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14 or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16 Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

18 Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps:

22 “He committed no sin,

nor was any deceit found in His mouth.”[i]

23 When He was abused, He did not return the abuse.[j] While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.”[k]

25 For you like sheep were going astray,[l]

but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.