We host a small group in our home on alternating Sunday's and at our last meeting we had a rousing conversation about confession of sins, our relationship with Christ, and how this affects our lives.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
It is imperative to understand that the forgiveness of God in Christ is a one-time action in the past that has present and future affects. This means that all of the sins of the Believer were forgiven at the cross. "All" means literally all; not some, not most, no exclusions- all. Since all of our sin has been forgiven we can consider ourselves clean. We have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5) and given the ability to believe and to keep on believing the Gospel (Romans 3:23).
That being said, what is the place for confession of sin in the life of the Christian? Confession is agreeing with God that what you have done is sinful and wrong. Confession or a lack of confession does not change your standing before God.
It does change the way we view
our relationship with God. Sin hates exposure and brings guilt; and guilt is what causes us to want to hide from God and others. We have a hard time accepting that God views the Believer as righteous at all times
because of our position in Christ. This position is unaffected by anything we do. We did not do anything to gain this forgiveness or our position in Christ and we cannot do anything to maintain it. It is all of God and none of us.
It is a part of our nature to want to have some responsibility or input into our righteousness but to attempt do so is saying that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was not enough, that somehow it was deficient and Scripture clearly says this is not true (Hebrews 10:1-18). It is also incredibly prideful to think you can somehow add an acceptable sacrifice to what Christ has done.
God loves His children. He loves those Jesus died for with an everlasting love and we cannot change it or alter it in any way.