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A Living Stone and a Holy Nation

Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere. Don't be jealous or say cruel things about others. Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved. (A) You have already found out how good the Lord really is.

Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. And now you are living stones being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God. (B) It is just as God says in the Scriptures,

“Look! I am placing in Zion
a choice and precious
No one who has faith
in this one
    will be disappointed.”

(C) You are followers of the Lord, and this stone is precious to you. But it isn't precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all. (D) They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over this stone, because they were doomed.

(E) But you are God's chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things he has done. The Scriptures say,

10 (F) “Once you were nobody.
    Now you are God's people.
At one time no one
    had mercy on you.
Now God has treated you
    with kindness.”

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