Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.(Romans 4:23-25)
Paul has been making the case that Salvation has always been by faith, and never by meritorious works of the law. God justifies the ungodly, after all they are the only ones who need justification.
The Apostle calls two witnesses to the stand, Abraham, and David. Abraham, the father of all who truly believe lived before there was a “LAw of Moses”, but when the idolator believed the gospel, righteousness was imputed unto him.
. David, under the law of Moses, should have died as an adulterer, and as a murderer, but God did not “Impute iniquity” to him, but rather pardoned him. This hell deserving man, instead is called “A man after God’s own heart”, and a major type of the Messiah, “the root and offspring of David”!
Both of them believed the gospel, that God would send a substitute, the Messiah, to pay the price for our iniquities ,transgressions and sins, and whose death would redeem us from the primal curse.
This is the meaning of the sacrifice of Isaac- offered very near to where there would be a temple, and on the same range as Calvary. Abraham was willing to offer,”His only son,whom he loved” because he believed in resurrection, that “God quickens the dead”, for he believed God to quicken the very deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Even so he also believed that he could offer Isaac, even though the promise that “So shall thy seed be” was all bound up in Isaac, because God would raise him from the dead to fulfill the promise. Abraham’s justifying faith was resurrection faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.(Hebrews 11:18-20)
David also believed in Resurrection, for he prophesied of the death of the Messiah and his resurrection in Psalms 22 and 16, among other places ;
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent…(Psalm 22:1-2)
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.(Psalm 16:8-11)
These are prophecies, types and shadows, but we now have the substance. How do we know that we are truly justified, made Righteous in the sight of God? The resurrection of Jesus !
He was delivered up to be crucified for our sins; how do we know he wasn’t crucified as a cursed sinner for his own sins? Because he was raised up again,(resurrected) because we have been justified. Had he died for his own sins, he would still be in the ground awaiting the final judgment.
The resurrection is the great sign that God has accepted the substitutionary offering of the Messiah on our behalf. Paul is telling us that he couldn’t have been raised until the full price had been paid, he was raised because of our justification(NASB) !
Righteousness will be imputed to us, as it was to Abraham, David, and anyone else who truly believed in the God of the Bible, from Adam unto this day, and his resurrection promise of eternal life!