Just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur called “The Believer’s Confession of Sin”.

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-353/the-believers-confession-of-sin

Also, here is an article on the topic “If We Confess Our Sins” by Pastor John:

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/grace-to-you/read/articles/if-we-confess-our-sins-9344.html

A distinguishing point he makes is between judicial forgiveness and parental forgiveness. One is permanent and can never be taken away, the other is one Christians are to be constantly examining themselves before God as their Father, whom we hurt when we sin:

But the question remains: Why are you supposed to seek God’s forgiveness if He has already justified you? If justification takes care of sin past, present, and future, so there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1), why pray for forgiveness? Aren’t you praying for something that is already yours?

The answer is that divine forgiveness has two aspects. One is the judicial forgiveness God grants as Judge. It’s the forgiveness God purchased for you by Christ’s atonement for your sin. That kind of forgiveness frees you from any threat of eternal condemnation. It is the forgiveness of justification. Such pardon is immediately complete — you’ll never need to seek it again.

The other is a parental forgiveness God grants as your Father. He is grieved when His children sin. The forgiveness of justification takes care of judicial guilt, but it does not nullify His fatherly displeasure over your sin. He chastens those whom He loves, for their good (Heb. 12:5-11).

Confessing sin is a daily part of the Christian life!

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

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