Letter of Peter 1
Christ is the cornerstone
1 So, give up all evil and deceit, hypocrisy, envy and every kind of gossip. 2 Like newborn children, seek eagerly for the pure milk of the Word that will help you grow and reach sal vation. 3 Did you not taste the goodness of the Lord? 4 He is the living stone rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him 5 so that you, too, become living stones built into a spiritual temple, a holy community of priests offering spiritual sacrifices that please God through Jesus Christ. 6 Scripture says: See, I lay in Zion a chosen and precious cornerstone; whoever be lieves in him will not be disappointed.
7 This means honor for you who believed, but for unbelievers also the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone 8 and it is a stone to stum ble over, a rock which lays people low. They stumble over it in rejecting the Word, but the plan of God is fulfilled in this.
9 You are a chosen race, a community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made his own to proclaim his wonders. For he called you from your darkness to his own wonderful light. 10 At one stage you were no people, but now you are Godís people, you had not received his mercy, but now you have been given mercy.
Live a blameless life
11 Beloved, while you are strangers and exiles, I urge you not to indulge in selfish passions that wage war on the soul. 12 Live a blameless life among the pagans; so when they accuse you falsely of any wrong, they may see your good works and give glory to God on the day he comes to them.
13 For the Lordís sake, respect all human authority: the king as chief authority, 14 the governors as sent by him to punish evildoers and to encourage those who do good. 15 And God wants you to do good so that you may silence those fools who ignorantly criticize you. 16 Be have as free people but do not speak of freedom as a license for vice; you are free men and Godís servants. 17 Re verence each person, love your brothers and sisters, fear God and show respect to the emperor.
18 Servants must respect their masters, not only those who are good and understanding but also those who are difficult. 19 For there is merit in putting up with unpro voked suffering, for the sake of God. 20 What merit would there be in taking a beating when you have done wrong? But if you endure punishment when you have done well, that is a grace before God.
21 This is your calling: remember Christ who suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you may follow in his way. 22 He did no wrong and there was no deceit in his mouth. 23 He did not return insult for insult and, when suffering, he did not curse but put himself in the hands of God who judges justly. 24 He went to the cross bearing our sins on his own body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live an upright life. For by his wounds you have been healed. 25 You were like stray sheep, but you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.