THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER

  1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia — elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
  2. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fades not away; reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, wherein you greatly rejoice; though now for a season, if need be, you are afflicted through various temptations, that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than of gold that perishes though it be tried with fire) might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom, having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see not (yet believing) you rejoice with unspeakable joy and are full of glory, receiving the object of your faith, even the salvation of your souls; concerning which salvation the prophets (who prophesied of the grace bestowed upon you) inquired and searched diligently, searching what time and what manner of salvation the Spirit of Christ (which was in them) did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow; unto whom it was revealed that, not unto themselves but unto us, they did minister the things which are now reported unto you, by them who have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, which things the angels desire to look into.
  3. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he who has called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conduct; because it is written: Be you holy, for I am holy.
  4. And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear, forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conduct (by tradition from your fathers), but with the precious blood of Christ — as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world and was manifest in these last times for you — who by him do believe in God who raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.
  5. Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently, being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower thereof falls away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
  6. Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if you have tasted that the Lord is gracious; to whom coming, as unto a living stone — rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious — you also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.
  7. Unto you therefore who believe, he is precious; but unto them who are disobedient, who stumble at the word through disobedience unto what they were appointed, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense; for the stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. But you are a chosen generation — a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people — that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, who in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
  8. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honest among the gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king, as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free people, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
  9. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the unreasonable. For this is thankworthy: if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it if, when you are buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? But if, when you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God; for even unto this were you called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judges righteously; who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
  10. Likewise, you wives be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives, while they behold your chaste conduct with fear. Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden woman of the heart, she who is not corruptible, of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in old times the holy women who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are, as long as you do well and are not afraid with any fear.
  11. Likewise, you husbands dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.
  12. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion one of another. Love as brethren: filled with pity, courteous, not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing, but contrariwise give blessing, knowing that you are called unto this that you should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips, that they speak no guile. Let him eschew evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open unto their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
  13. And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good? But if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are you. And do not be afraid of their terror, neither be troubled, but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer with meekness and fear to every man that asks of you a reason for the hope that is in you; having a good conscience, that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conduct in Christ.
  14. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well-doing than for evil doing; for Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit, that he might bring us to God; for which cause he also went and preached unto the spirits in prison, some of whom were disobedient in the days of Noah while the longsuffering of God waited, while the ark was preparing wherein few, that is eight souls, were saved by water, the like figure at which even baptism does now also save us — not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God — by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
  15. Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for you who have suffered in the flesh should cease from sin , that you no longer — the rest of your time in the flesh — should live to the lusts of men, but to the will of God; for the time past of life may suffice to have wrought the will of the gentiles, when you walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries, wherein they speak evil of you, thinking it strange that you do run not with them to the same excess of riot, who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. Because of this, the gospel is preached to them who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live in the Spirit according to the will of God.
  16. But to you the end of all things is at hand; therefore be sober and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves, for charity prevents a multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man has received the gift, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the diverse grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as an oracle of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  17. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, he is spoken evil of, but on your part he is glorified.
  18. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf; for the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous are scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
  19. The elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight not by constraint but willingly; not for base gain, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but by being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.
  20. Likewise you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, let all be subject one to another and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour; whom you should resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, makes you perfect; establishes, strengthens, and settles you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  21. By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein you stand. They at Babylon, elected together with you, salute you, and Mark, my son. Greet one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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