“Jesus, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith.”
For all our adoration and admiration of Paul’s life and fruit, I beg now the question: What’s so special about Paul?
In his letters, he does not boast about himself (except sarcastically in 2 Cor 11 and Phil 3). He had no claim of being special, apart from the grace of God.
And as Paul writes the introduction here in one of his last letters of his life, he draws his readers’ attention to the source of his strength: It is Jesus, from who he received grace and apostleship for everything that he did.
Everything that Paul did was an overflow of what he received from the Holy Spirit.
And so to the question of whether there was anything special about Paul, I would say that Paul was just a good receiver of God’s blessings.
He received them as his one desire (Phil 3:10), he received them having empty hands (Phil 3:8), and he gave it out freely to others so that he could receive more.
In some sense, I am saying that all of us can become “Paul’s”, so to speak. We don’t need to be special, gifted, or accomplished. We could just learn a few lessons from receiving from the Holy Spirit as he did.