I'm sure you've heard a take on Romans 10:
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Here ya go; this is what you gotta do; fulfill the above requirements, and you will be saved.
[bangs head against the wall]
We can manage to twist anything into salvation-by-works, can't we?
When Peter was sinking in the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14) he called for help. That is "confessing" the Lord Jesus: "I can do nothing to save myself. Help me!" Even in Romans 10, just a few verses following the quote above, it says the Lord is rich to all who call upon Him.
And when do we call on Him? When we've got a way to please Him? Or when we have no hope in ourselves and are empty-handed beggars?