The Apostle Paul urges the Church at Corinth to follow him (1 Corinthians 4:16). It is this same Paul who once entitled himself to be the chief of sinners. How is it then that one can make such a pressing request? First we must recognize that Paul was not urging his heaters to follow him, but to follow him as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The only way that such a request could be made is when the sinner is turned to a saint, by being clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, for even man’s righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). To be clothed with robes of righteousness is to believe in Jesus Christ, for Abraham believed It was imputed to him as righteousness (Romans 4:22). Jesus, the sinless became sin so that we the unrighteous may be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
As Christians we need to urge others to be Christ-like and this means that we need to awake to righteousness and not sin (1 Corinthians 15:34) for only then can we urge others to follow us as we follow Christ.