I’m not sure exactly what it is about confessing something I’ve done wrong that makes me feel better, but I know that inside of each person there is some sort of mechanism, a switch if you will, that seems to get flipped when we confess our sin to God. It might be one of the great mysteries of life or maybe I’m just stupid, but I don’t understand why forgiveness has the power to change a person, why in many ways forgiveness is the key to true life.
The Hebrew word that is translated as confession in Joshua 7:19, tôwdâh (to – dah´) means an extension of the hand as in adoration, like a choir of worshippers (8426). If you’ve ever been in in church where the people raise their hands during worship, then you have an accurate picture of what confession looks like.
In a sense, confession means to become a worshipper of God. When Joshua says to Achan, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him” (Joshua 7:19), he is basically saying, you need to get right with God and become a true follower or worshipper of him. Achan’s response “Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel” (Joshua 7:20) indicates that he knows he is subject to God’s commandments and must be punished for his wrong doing.
The Greek word that is translated as confession in Romans 10:10 sheds a little more light on the act of confession. Homologeo (hom – ol – og – eh´ – o) means “to speak the same thing” or to agree with something (3670). The idea here is an acknowledgement of the truth, to say yes, I believe that is true. Paul puts it this way, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
One of the ways salvation is described is “the present experience of God’s power to deliver from the bondage of sin” (4991). So when I confess, I actually experience God’s power, it is like a momentary jolt that makes me aware that God’s working in my life.