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So stop all the wrong things you do. Stop all the ways you cheat people. Stop fooling people. Stop being jealous. Stop saying wrong things about people.

Babies who have just been born want milk very much. In the same way, you should want God's word. That is like good milk. It will make you grow up so that you will then be fully saved.

You should want God's word if you have already tasted and know that the Lord is good.

Come to the Lord Jesus. He is like a living stone. People did not want to use it. But God chose it. It was worth very much to him.

You also are like living stones. You are being built into a temple, a holy place for God. You are to be holy priests there. You are to give sacrifices to God from your heart. God will accept them because of Jesus Christ.

The holy writings say, `Listen, I am placing a stone in Zion. It is the main stone of the house. I have chosen it and it is worth very much. Anyone who believes in him will not be ashamed.'

He is worth very much to you who believe in him. But some people do not believe in him. To them he is, `the stone that the men who were building would not use. But now it is the chief stone at the corner.'

And to them he is also, `a stone on which people will hit their feet, and a rock that will make them fall down.' They hit their feet on it, because they do not obey the word. It was planned that this would happen to them!

But you are a chosen people. You are priests to your king. You are a holy nation. You are God's very own people. All this is so that you will tell how good he is. He called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

10 At one time you were not God's people. But now you are God's people. At one time you did not know God's kindness. Now you do.

11 Dear brothers, you are people who do not belong to this world. You are like visitors who are on a journey. I beg you, do not do the things your body wants to do. Those things fight against your soul.

12 Live good lives among the people who do not believe. They may talk about you as if you do wrong things. But when they see the good things you do, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you.

13 Obey every officer of the government to please the Lord. Obey the king because he is over all.

14 Obey the rulers because they are sent by him. They are sent to punish those who do wrong things and to praise those who do good things.

15 That is what God wants you to do. He wants you to do good things. By doing good things, you will stop foolish people from saying wrong things about you. They say wrong things about you because they do not know you.

16 You are free people. But do not think, `I am free so I can do wrong things.' You are God's servants.

17 Respect all men. Love your Christian brothers. Fear God. Respect the king.

18 Servants, respect and obey your masters in all things. Obey not only those who are good to you. But also obey those who are hard on you.

19 Maybe a person is punished when he has done nothing wrong. If he takes these troubles to please God, he does a very good thing.

20 What praise will you have if you take a beating when you have done something wrong? But when you do right and are punished, if you take it quietly, God is pleased.

21 You have been called to do this because Christ also was punished for you. He showed you what you should do. So do as he did.

22 He did no wrong. And he told no lie.

23 When people said wrong things to him, he did not say wrong things to them. When he was punished, he did not say, `I will do something to you!' But he trusted in God who judges what is right.

24 Christ in his own body took the wrong things we have done to the cross. He did this so that we would stop our bad ways and live right. Because he was punished, you were healed.

25 Like lost sheep, you were going away from God. But now you have come back to the one who takes care of you and helps you.