1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood:
May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice,* even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faithbeing more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by firemay be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen* him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, 11inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated, when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaventhings into which angels long to look!
13 Therefore prepare your minds for action;* discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.
17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.
22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth* so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply* from the heart.*
23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.*
All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures for ever.
That word is the good news that was announced to you.
2Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in Gods sight, and
5like living stones, let yourselves be built* into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6For it stands in scripture:
See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him* will not be put to shame.
7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,
A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods own people,* in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are Gods people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12Conduct yourselves honourably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honourable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.*
13 For the Lords sake accept the authority of every human institution,* whether of the emperor as supreme, 14or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15For it is Gods will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16As servants* of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17Honour everyone. Love the family of believers.* Fear God. Honour the emperor.
18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh.
19For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly.
20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have Gods approval.
21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22 He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.
23When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross,* so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds* you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
3Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives conduct, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; 4rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in Gods sight. 5It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. 6Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you.
7 Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together, paying honour to the woman as the weaker sex,* since they too are also heirs of the gracious gift of lifeso that nothing may hinder your prayers.
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
9Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were calledthat you might inherit a blessing.
Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear,* and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence.* Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be Gods will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered* for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you* to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves younot as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for* a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
4Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,* arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2so as to live for the rest of your earthly life* no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme.* 5But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
7 The end of all things is near;* therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.
8Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.
9Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
10Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
11Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christs sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
14If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory,* which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.*
15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief-maker.
16Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.
17For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?
19Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with Gods will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.
5Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you
2to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight,* not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it*not for sordid gain but eagerly.
3Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock.
4And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.
5In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders.* And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8Discipline yourselves; keep alert.* Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters* throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, I have written this short letter to encourage you, and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13Your sister church* in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.*
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011