Karen and I were talking about confession over lunch (I know, I know, it must be agonizingly boring to be married to a pastor!), and while we were talking, I learned some theology from her that is just too good not to share with you.
Consider the act of confession: It seems a little superfluous in some ways, doesn't it? I mean, all my sins have already been paid for at the Cross. Even my future sins are already covered by the blood of the Lamb. And God removes our iniquity from us as far as east is from west. So why confess? The reason is not for God's sake. He has already justified us through Christ. It is for our sakes, because in confession we have to admit that we are sinning. That admission is one of the most humbling acts in which a human can engage. It is also the only act by which we recognize our need to change. Without confession, there can thus be no change. If there is no change, then there will be no growth. God thus calls us to confess not because He is a rather grumpy fellow, who wants us to grovel before he condescends to grant us cleansing, but because He loves us. He loved us enough to send Jesus as the Lamb, and loves us still, too much to allow us to remain as we are in our sin. So confess, for God's sake and because your un-confessed sin erects a barrier in your relationship with Him. But also, confess for your own sakes, for who wants to remain the mess that they are?