13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state,14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.[a] Fear God, and respect the king.
18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect.[b] Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel.19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered[c] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.[d] 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
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