v4 So come to the *Lord Jesus. He is like a big stone that a builder uses to build a house. He is Ďthe stone that is aliveí. People decided that he was worth nothing to them. So they refused him. But God chose him. To God, Jesus is like a stone that is worth very, very much. v5 You yourselves also are like stones that are alive, because of Jesus Christ. God is using you, like stones, to build his *spiritual house. He has chosen you to work there as his priests (special servants who offer *sacrifices). As priests you will offer *spiritual *sacrifices to God. And God will be happy with what you offer him, because of Jesus Christ.
v6 In the Bible, God says this:
ĎLook, I have chosen a stone that is worth very, very much.
I have chosen this valuable stone as the most important stone,
for the corner of my house.
And I am putting that stone in *Zion.
Any person who believes him will never be ashamed.
That person will never be sorry that they believed him.í
v7 This stone is worth very, very much to you who believe. But the Bible says this about the people who do not believe him:
ĎThe stone that the builders refused has become the most important stone.
It has become the stone at the corner of the house.í
v8 The Bible says this also:
ĎThis is a stone that will cause people to knock their feet against it so that they fall.
It is a rock that will make them fall down.í
The reason why it causes people to fall is this. They fall because they refuse to obey Godís message. A long, long time ago, God decided that this would happen to them.
v9 But you are the people that God has chosen. You are a group of priests who are servants of God, the King. You are Godís own special people, who obey only him. You belong to God. He has taken you out of the dark and he has brought you into his great light. He has chosen you so that you can tell people how great he is. v10 In past times, you were not Godís people. But now you are Godís people. In past times, you did not know how very kind God is. But now you know how very kind he is.
v11 My friends, that I love, you live as strangers in this world. You are like visitors, who are staying in this world only for a short time. So I ask you strongly not to do those bad things that your bodies may want to do. Keep away from things like that, because they are like enemies to you. They fight against what is good for you. They stop you from doing good things. v12 You are living among people who do not know God. So be careful that you do good and right things always. Sometimes these people may say that you do bad things. But you should continue to do good things. And then they will see that you are good. So, on the day when God visits us, they may thank God because of you. And they will say how great God is.