1 Therefore, aputting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all bslander, 2 alike newborn babies, long for the bpure milk of the word, so that by it you may cgrow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have atasted bthe kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been arejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 ayou also, as living stones, are being built up as a bspiritual house for a holy cpriesthood, to doffer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: "aBEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A bPRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 7 aThis precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "bTHE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS cREJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," 8 and, "aA STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; 9 But you are aA CHOSEN RACE, A royal bPRIESTHOOD, A cHOLY NATION, dA PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you eout of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 afor you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 11 aBeloved, bI urge you as caliens and strangers to abstain from dfleshly lusts which wage ewar against the soul. 12 aKeep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they bslander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, cglorify God din the day of visitation. 13 aSubmit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him afor the punishment of evildoers and the bpraise of those who do right. 15 For asuch is the will of God that by doing right you may bsilence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as afree men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bbondslaves of God. 17 aHonor all people, blove the brotherhood, cfear God, dhonor the king. 18 aServants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and bgentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of aconscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if awhen you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For ayou have been called for this purpose, bsince Christ also suffered for you, leaving you can example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO aCOMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being areviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself abore our sins in His body on the bcross, so that we cmight die to sin and live to righteousness; for dby His wounds you were ehealed. 25 For you were acontinually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the bShepherd and Guardian of your souls.