To the question: Does faith create justification?
My answer: No.
Is there a righteousness that is independent of my faith that is out there?
My answer: Yes.
However, to explain why my answers are such, I can not deal with these two questions separately but I must explain in such a way that the two questions are answered simultaneously; when we consider the question in the light of Christ and His Cross, the questions are simultaneously answered.
Firstly, our story or oops, his story: Jesus Christ, the Son of God lived a perfect sinless life and gave himself as a ransom for the sins of the world. The nature of this Christ is that he is the Just One and The Righteous One, the One that can stand before the Father - perfect, he is the Justified One.
Faith simply grabs a hold of what is already there - it grabs a hold of the Christ - the Righteous One who paid the sins of the sinner. This is to me why faith justifies, it justifies because it is grabbing a hold of the Justified One, the Righteous One. That is why faith is reckoned as righteousness because it is grabbing a hold of the Righteous One.
That is why, to the question - does faith create justification? My answer is NO. It receives what is already there - the Justified One/ Christ our Righteousness.
That is why also, to the question - is there a righteousness that is outside me that is independent of my faith - I answer with a YES, Jesus Christ our Lord is that ever Righteous One. He stands ever outside me that is why I (we) can use him in front of the Law of God that condemns me(us). The question is not because faith receives, for faith can receive anything, rather, the question is what does it receive? Faith lays hold of the Righteous One as his righteousness.
Do you see any discussion of UOJ there in that explanation? I certainly don't and I suggest neither do the BoC editors need such construction to assure us of God's forgiveness of our sins.
First from the BoC, AP IV, 291-2
The Gospel shows another way. It compels us to use Christ in our justification. It teaches that through him we have access to God through faith and that we should set him, the mediator and propitiator, against the wrath of God. It teaches that by faith in Christ we received the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, and victory over the terrors of sin and death.
Faith alone accepts the forgiveness of sins, justifies, and regenerates...As we have already stated, we teach a man is justified when, with his conscience terrified by the preaching of penitence, he takes heart and believes that he has a gracious God for Christ's sake. This faith is accounted for righteousness before God (Rom 4:3-5)
See also SD III, 13.
Let me further quote Jacob Heerbrand (in R. Preus' Justification and Rome)
....We are not justified by faith insofar as it is a quality in us, as again the enemies of God's grace, the Neo-Pelagians, falsely accuse us of teaching, namely, that the unrighteous are justified when they have a certain idea (or rather dream) that they are righteous. No, we are justified by faith in so far as it apprehends Christ who for us was made righteousness by God, sanctification and redemption, and insofar as faith is concerned applies Christ's merit to itself.
I highlighted some portion above in that quote because I found that comment interesting and perhaps worthy of reflection.
How about Abraham Calov, Apodixis Articulorum Fidei (again in R. Preus' Justification and Rome)?
Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe.