How can people believe they are saved by saying a prayer, when you have to be baptized to wash away your sins in order to be in Christ. Aren't these people being fooled into thinking this is how they are saved?
A prayer of faith does not save a man or woman. Some people believe it does, just as some people believe that baptism saves them. Both are works. Both are things that God says does not save us.
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. (NASB) Romans 4:2-5
There is nothing wrong with prayer or baptism, but they do not and cannot save us. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that God alone gives us the faith that saves us.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (NASB) Eph. 2:8-9
It is a gift to us. Why is it a gift? Because we could not have believed if we had wanted to according to Romans 3:11.
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD . . . (NASB) Romans 3:11
The Holy Spirit has to work in us to draw us to Jesus. He gives us the faith with which we believe (John 6:65, 44 and 37). Baptism is only a symbolic act. There is no efficacy in baptism – no special blessing. It is only symbolic of a changed heart and life. A change produced by God Himself and only Himself.
It is the Word of God that gives us understanding of God’s mercy and His saving grace.
. . . by the washing of water with the word. (NASB) Ephesians 5:26
The Word of God cleans up our confusion and gives a correct understanding of our sinful self and Jesus’ wonderful love, mercy and forgiveness. Praise the Lord!