You are entering into the heavenly courts, and you are doing so as a congregation that has every right to be there. This is because we present ourselves at the gates as a people who are clothed in the righteousness of our head, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are accepted on that basis.
Knowing what we are about to do, we must confess our sins. We are entering a holy palace, and so we are careful to wipe our feet at the door. The cleansing that occurs here is perfect and complete, for God is the one who does it—we do not do it for Him. This is why we take time to confess our sins at the beginning of the service.
But it is just as important for us to accept the promised declaration of forgiveness, and to believe it. To confess your sins, and then continue to drag your guilt around with you is not an excess of humility—it is unbelief and more sin requiring confession. When God declares that you are accepted in the beloved, you have a solemnly obligation to receive that declaration with gladness.
Now if all this happens at the beginning of the service, what should our demeanor be in the rest of the service? We were not invited into God’s presence in order to stand around sheepishly. We are summoned to actively worship Him, praise Him, present our petitions to Him, and to give our advice to Him. Yes, you heard that last phrase rightly. We come into God’s presence in order to serve as members of His privy council, as members of His cabinet. Like Abraham, we are friends of God.
There is a kind of corrupted Calvinism that has real trouble with this. Reacting to those sleek and haughty Pelagians who want to stroll into the presence of God on their own merits, these Calvinists have reacted the other way, saying that total depravity is so total that even the blood of Christ can only save us from Hell, and not really put us right in relation to God.
But you are here to believe the Word. Come, then, and worship God.