1 Peter 2:4-5:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
As Living Stones
4 Come to Him [the risen Lord] as to a living Stone which men rejected and threw away, but which is choice and precious in the sight of God. 5 You [believers], like living stones, are [a]being built up into a spiritual house for a holy and dedicated priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious (honored) Cornerstone,
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe [in Him as God’s only Son—the Source of salvation]; but for those who disbelieve,
“The [very] stone which the builders rejected
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;
for they stumble because they disobey the word [of God], and to this they [who reject Him as Savior] were also appointed.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges [those dishonorable desires] that wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that [b]for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God [c]in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].
13 Submit yourselves to [the authority of] every human institution for the sake of the Lord [to honor His name], whether it is to a king as one in a position of power, 14 or to governors as sent by him to bring punishment to those who do wrong, and to praise and encourage those who do right. 15 For it is the will of God that by doing right you may silence (muzzle, gag) the [culpable] ignorance and irresponsible criticisms of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover or pretext for evil, but [use it and live] as bond-servants of God. 17 Show respect for all people [treat them honorably], love the brotherhood [of believers], fear God, honor the king.
18 [d]Servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are good and kind, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if a person endures the sorrow of suffering unjustly because of an [e]awareness of [the will of] God. 20 After all, what kind of credit is there if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you endure it patiently? But if when you do what is right and patiently bear [undeserved] suffering, this finds favor with God.
Christ Is Our Example
21 For [as a believer] you have been called for this purpose, since Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may follow in His footsteps. 22 He committed no sin, nor was deceit ever found in His mouth. 23 While being reviled and insulted, He did not revile or insult in return; while suffering, He made no threats [of vengeance], but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in His body on the [f]cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been [g]healed. 25 For you were continually wandering like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
3 In the same way, you wives, be [h]submissive to your own husbands [subordinate, not as inferior, but out of respect for the responsibilities entrusted to husbands and their accountability to God, and so partnering with them] so that even if some do not obey the word [of God], they may be won over [to Christ] without discussion by the godly lives of their wives, 2 when they see your modest and respectful behavior [together with your devotion and appreciation—love your husband, encourage him, and enjoy him as a blessing from God]. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—with interweaving and elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; 4 but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands and adapting themselves to them; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham [following him and having regard for him as head of their house], calling him [i]lord. And you have become her daughters if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear [that is, being respectful toward your husband but not giving in to intimidation, nor allowing yourself to be led into sin, nor to be harmed].
7 In the same way, you husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way [with great gentleness and tact, and with an intelligent regard for the marriage relationship], as with [j]someone physically weaker, since she is a woman. Show her honor and respect as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered or ineffective.
8 Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; 9 and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection]. 10 For,
“The one who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not],
13 Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. 15 But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. 16 And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. 17 For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. 18 For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; 19 in which He also went and preached to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the great patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons [Noah’s family], were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that [rescue through the flood], baptism [which is an expression of a believer’s new life in Christ] now [k]saves you, not by removing dirt from the body, but by an appeal to God for a good (clear) conscience, [demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God [that is, the place of honor and authority], with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.
Keep Fervent in Your Love
4 Therefore, since [l]Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world], 2 so that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living for human appetites and desires, but [lives] for the will and purpose of God. 3 For the time already past is [more than] enough for doing what the [unsaved] Gentiles like to do—[m]living [unrestrained as you have done] in a course of [shameless] sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries. 4 In [connection with] all this, they [the unbelievers] are resentful and surprised that you do not [think like them, value their values and] run [hand in hand] with them into the same excesses of dissipation and immoral freedom, and they criticize and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values. 5 But they will [have to] give an account to Him who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the good news [of salvation] was preached [in their lifetimes] even to those who are dead, that though they were judged in the flesh as men are, they may live in the spirit according to [the will and purpose of] God.
7 The end and culmination of all things is near. Therefore, be sound-minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer [staying balanced and focused on the things of God so that your communication will be clear, reasonable, specific and pleasing to Him.] 8 Above all, have [n]fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others]. 9 Be [o]hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor]. 11 Whoever speaks [to the congregation], is to do so as one who speaks the oracles (utterances, the very words) of God. Whoever serves [the congregation] is to do so as one who serves by the strength which God [abundantly] supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified [honored and magnified] through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Share the Sufferings of Christ
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. 13 But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy. 14 If you are insulted and reviled for [bearing] the name of Christ, you are blessed [happy, with life-joy and comfort in God’s salvation regardless of your circumstances], because the Spirit of glory and of God is resting on you [and indwelling you—He whom they curse, you glorify]. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or a thief, or any sort of criminal [in response to persecution], or as a troublesome meddler interfering in the affairs of others; 16 but if anyone suffers [ill-treatment] as a [p]Christian [because of his belief], he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God [because he is considered worthy to suffer] in this name. 17 For it is the time [destined] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not respect or believe or obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is difficult for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the godless and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with the will of God must [continue to] do right and commit their souls [for safe-keeping] to the faithful Creator.
Serve God Willingly
5 Therefore, I strongly urge the elders among you [pastors, spiritual leaders of the church], as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory that is to be revealed: 2 shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm; 3 not lording it over those assigned to your care [do not be arrogant or overbearing], but be examples [of Christian living] to the flock [set a pattern of integrity for your congregation]. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd (Christ) appears, you will receive the [conqueror’s] unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you younger men [of lesser rank and experience], be subject to your elders [seek their counsel]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another [tie on the servant’s apron], for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.