Note # 5: Jews Saved by Works?
As far as I am aware the first Mid Acts dispensationalist was Sir Robert Anderson. He never taught that anyone in any age was saved in any other way than by grace through faith. After Anderson there arose what I will call the "second generation" of Mid Acts Bible teachers. Included in this group are J.C. O’Hair, Charles Baker, and Cornelius Stam. Neither O’Hair nor Baker taught that works were ever required for salvation during any dispensation. However, Stam taught the following:
"Man has always been saved essentially by the grace of God, through faith. There could be no other way to be saved…Men in every age have been saved simply by ‘believing’ God and approaching Him in His appointed way. When works were required for salvation, they did not save ‘as such’, but only as the required expression of faith" (Stam, Things That Differ; Chapter 1).
From Stam’s first statement we can only understand that since "works" are not "essential" for salvation during any age then "works" were never required for salvation. But Stam contradicts himself in his next statement by saying that "works" were indeed "required" in some ages.
It only takes a few verses from the Scriptures to demonstrate that the Jews who were saved before the conversation of Paul were saved by "grace" through "faith" and that they too enjoyed eternal security. The Lord Jesus spoke the following words to the Jews:
"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Jn. 5: 24).
It was the words which the Lord Jesus spoke which brought life. He said: "It is the spirit that giveth life…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn. 6: 63).
By Grace: The Apostle Paul spoke of a "remnant" out of Israel "according to the election of grace":
"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace" (Ro. 11: 5-6).
By his own words we can see that Peter believed that he was saved by grace, just as are the Gentiles:
"We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are" (Acts 15: 11).
Peter was saved by "grace". If "works" were required for his salvation then he could not say that he was saved by "grace" because if it is of "works" then it is not of grace.
Eternal Security: John tells the Jewish believers that they have already been given "eternal life": "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son" (1 Jn. 5: 11).
The Lord Jesus Himself says that those whom he has given eternal life "shall never perish": "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (Jn. 10: 28).
The Mid Acts dispensationalists who teach that the Jewish believers had to do "works" in order to be saved present many verses which they think prove their idea. For a full treatment of of these verses and my answer to them you can go to the following site on TheologyOnLine where I debated Jeremy Finkenbinder on this very issue: "Were Works Ever Required?":