2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

2:3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--

2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

2:6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

2:7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,"

2:8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.

2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,

2:14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

2:15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

2:18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

2:19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.

2:20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

2:22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."

2:23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.