Proverbs 12:28

ESV In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
NIV In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.
NASB In the way of righteousness there is life, And in its pathway there is no death.
CSB There is life in the path of righteousness, and in its path there is no death.
NLT The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.
KJV In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

What does Proverbs 12:28 mean?

A common theme in the book of Proverbs is that pursuit of God's truth—righteousness—leads a person to greater safety and success (Proverbs 3:9–12). The Bible takes note that life is not always just; evil people sometimes succeed (Psalm 73:2–3; Habakkuk 1:2–4) and good people can suffer tragedy (Job 1:20–21). The truth of this proverb is much like that of a doctor who tells a patient, "exercise and eat well and you will live longer." While accidents and illnesses may occur, it's clearly true that those who make good decisions put themselves at less risk than those who are foolish. Nowhere is that more impactful than whether a person chooses to follow God (Proverbs 9:1–6), or their own desire (Proverbs 9:13–18).

Solomon's meaning here might be temporal blessing or everlasting life. Those who possess righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21) have abundant life (John 10:10). Furthermore, righteous individuals carry the message of life to others. They and all who respond to the gospel have passed from death unto life and will never experience eternal death. The righteous enjoy a good life now and an even better life in eternity. The path of life is one that follows the steps of Jesus. He is the resurrection and the life, and all who trust in Him as Savior will never experience eternal death (John 11:25–26). Romans 8:1 affirms: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

The wicked may think they are on the right path, but they are headed for eternal condemnation (Proverbs 11:7; John 3:36).
What is the Gospel?
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