14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The believers in Thessalonica were told by Paul that they were called by God Himself through the apostolic preaching of the Gospel. Theologians refer to this as the “effectual calling unto salvation”. When the Gospel is preached to a group of people, it is only those who are persuaded in their hearts that the Gospel is a divine invitation to them to believe on Christ the Saviour, who will repent and trust Him for their salvation.
We believe in the Gospel, because we have heard and understood it as God lovingly calling us to receive His gracious salvation. His calling had been most earnest and compelling in our souls when we heard the Gospel. Though the ones who preached the Gospel were persuasive, we understood it as God Himself persuading us to reconcile to Him. We have been convicted of His beckoning of us unto Himself, through the Gospel presented to us.
In the preceding verse, the apostle Paul described the divine working that led to our salvation. He wrote, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (v. 13). In 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Paul said, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance”. Our conviction of the divine call unto faith and salvation is the result of the Holy Spirit’s powerful persuasion of our hearts by the Gospel.
It is also interesting to note that Paul referred to the Gospel as “our gospel”. Is it not the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why then should he say “our gospel”? When the apostle and his fellow preachers presented the Gospel, they presented it as their own conviction and experience. Their voices not only declared the Gospel, but their lives as well, which were completely overwhelmed, fashioned and directed by the Gospel. Like the apostles, let us consecrate our lives unto the heralding of the Gospel.
Paul also said that God has called us by the Gospel “to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Gospel is a divine invitation to us to partake of the eternal glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the Gospel, God will lead us all the way to His glory. As Paul said, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Romans 8:30).