When Paul stayed alone in Tarsus receiving by divine inspiration (Gal. 1:11-12; 17) the New Testament gospel message of salvation through grace by faith…tailor made for the upcoming Gentile believers who would not be required to “follow the law” like the Jewish Christians…Paul did not stay in Tarsus in isolation and sit on what God gave to him.
Barnabas and Paul go to Antioch (Acts 11:26) where Paul polishes his message for one year with Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, and Manean…prophets and teachers.
The God calls Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel message out into the larger Greco-Roman world.
The important point here is that Paul does not sit on the revelation of God for his exclusive benefit in isolation. The message is intended to go out to the lost world. But this message is not about Paul…it lifts up Jesus Christ. Paul has no power or wisdom to save people…the gospel message points to Christ and Christ alone.
This is a divine blend of faith to go out and spread the gospel with the self-effacing humility to glorify God and not ourselves. This preparation and calling of Paul is a divine, hybrid composition.
What is compelling here is that Paul is not profiting by selling his insights for personal gain…but he is also not holding back the salvation message in the slightest when called by God to “go out.”
This process of being prepared ahead of time by God…then going out to give what we have received…is exclusive to Christianity. It is a sequential pattern that will be recognized by foreign missionaries, pastors, social workers, Bible college professors, Christian writers, and people in Christian ministry of all kinds.
The attitude that we go out with must have the right spirit…the attitude of the servant/leader…which only God can manufacture as we see here in the example of the calling and ministry of Paul.