Although no longer perfect, humans can still display God’s qualities. Hence, Paul encouraged Christians of his day: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Ephesians 5:1) Throughout history, though, most have demonstrated a gross disregard for God’s qualities. By the time of Noah, men had become so corrupt that Jehovah determined to destroy all mankind except for Noah and his family. Noah was “a righteous [just] man. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries,” and he demonstrated his love of God by carrying out God’s commands. “Noah proceeded to do according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.” (Genesis 6:9, 22) Noah showed love for his fellowman and his attachment to justice by being “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) He showed wisdom and properly used his physical power by following God’s direction to build a huge ark, store food in it, collect animals, and go into the ark at Jehovah’s command. He also showed his love of righteousness in not letting his wicked neighbors corrupt him.
The Bible describes many others who similarly demonstrated godly qualities. The foremost was Jesus Christ, who was perfectly in God’s image and thus could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Among the qualities that Jesus displayed, outstanding was his love. Love for his Father and for mankind moved him to leave his heavenly home and live as a man on earth. It moved him to glorify his Father by his righteous conduct and to preach to mankind the good news of salvation. (Matthew 4:23; John 13:31) Then, love moved Jesus to offer up his perfect life for the salvation of mankind and, more important, for the sanctification of God’s name. (John 13:1) In striving to imitate God, is there any better example to follow than Jesus Christ?—1 Peter 2:21.