13 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority - whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. 15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. 1 Fear God, and respect the king.
You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect. 2 Do what they tell you - not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel.
For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.
Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered 3 for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone. 4
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.