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13 Who will harm you if you are devoted to doing what is good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what God approves, you are blessed. Don’t be afraid of those who want to harm you. Don’t get upset. 15 But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence ⌞in God⌟ when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect. 16 Keep your conscience clear. Then those who treat the good Christian life you live with contempt will feel ashamed that they have ridiculed you. 17 After all, if it is God’s will, it’s better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong.

18 This is true because Christ suffered for our sins once. He was an innocent person, but he suffered for guilty people so that he could bring you to God. His body was put to death, but he was brought to life through his spirit. 19 In it he also went to proclaim his victory to the spirits kept in prison. 20 They are like those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah when God waited patiently while Noah built the ship. In this ship a few people—eight in all—were saved by water. 21 Baptism, which is like that water, now saves you. Baptism doesn’t save by removing dirt from the body. Rather, baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience. It saves you through Jesus Christ, who came back from death to life. 22 Now Christ has gone to heaven where he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the throne. Angels, rulers, and powers have been placed under his authority.

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