The Resurrection: Our Justification
"This appears still more clearly from what the apostle adds straight away: ‘Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.’ Nor is this the only place in the epistles of Paul where the justification of the believer and the resurrection of Christ are joined together. Elsewhere we read that our Christian faith, on which the imputation of righteousness depends, is in God as the one who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 10:9). Christ was delivered for our sins; he was raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). Nobody can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect; God justifies and none can condemn because it is Christ Jesus who died and was raised from the dead (Rom. 8:33, 34).To speak in one’s heart despairingly, as if righteousness were still to be provided, would be equivalent to saying: Who shall ascend into heaven for the purpose of bringing Christ down to his life of suffering and humiliation, and who shall descend into the abyss for the purpose of bringing Christ up from the realm of death?
"The two things, therefore, on which righteousness depends are the descent of Christ from heaven to bear our sins and the resurrection. Hence, ‘if thou shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, thou shalt be saved’ (Rom. 10:9). From all this, it is perfectly plain that we are not dealing here with an isolated form of representation, but with something which stood out in the apostle’s teaching as a fundamental truth on which he dwelt repeatedly in the most various connections. We are therefore bound to put the question: ‘What is it that the resurrection contributes to our becoming righteous in the sight of God?’ I think we can put the answer in the most simple form by saying, ‘The resurrection stands related to righteousness in the same way that death stands related to sin.’”
“…In the living Saviour, Paul would have us by faith grasp our justification. In the same real sense in which on earth Christ was identified with our sin, he is now in his resurrection—life identified with our state of pardon and acceptance. According to the profound words of the apostle, we have become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:20) because he has become the righteousness of God for us.” – Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory, pp. 158, 159, 162