Galatians 1:15 But when God was willing, He appointed me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, Galatians 1:16 to reveal His Son in me so that I may preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
At God’s desire, God selected Paul, even as far back as childhood. The Lord called Paul through grace (undeserved favor) way before Saul trusted Christ. God then revealed His Son, Jesus, to the Pharisee so that Paul would believe and go to work for the Lord. This was Paul’s calling.
God calls people to Himself today just like He called Saul of Tarsus. Salvation comes from the will or desire of God. I dare say that if God is not willing for people to be saved, no one would be saved. But God desires all people to be saved. This desire comes from God’s love and grace.
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- I Timothy 2:3, 4 (ESV) Emphasis mine
God’s calling is predetermined. What I mean is that God calls people way before they become His people. Listen to what Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus.
…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…
- Ephesians 1:4, 5 (NKJV)
When someone believes in Jesus Christ for salvation, it is never a surprise to God. It is rather the answer to God’s calling out to that individual – a calling that God began early in time. The transference from death to life by a person is completely of God.
God’s calling includes God revealing His truth so that may come to Christ. This is what Paul states happened to Him. He states His knowledge of the Lord Jesus came about as a result of God’s revelation. The word Paul uses for “reveal” is “apokaluptw” which means “to remove the cover from something”. It is the word from which our word “revelation” comes. The idea is that God opened Saul’s eyes so that he could meet the Lord Jesus. God does the same for people today. He opens human eyes to the truth of the gospel and people believe.
When God calls an individual to salvation, He also calls them into service. He gives spiritual gifts to all of His children so that they may minister. He commands that we go into the world and proclaim the gospel. Paul’s service is to preach Jesus to the Gentiles.