"You were [already] dead."
Ephesians 2 tells us that “You were dead.” This is past tense-–You were already dead in your trespasses and sins. And since you are already dead, apart from a resurrection your situation is not bound to improve. So when it comes to salvation, we are unable to do anything to save ourselves. Nonetheless, the old, dead sinner still always wants to do it himself. He always wants to be the one who does the things that save.
But even while we were dead in our trespasses (and unable to do anything about it) Christ came.
How did He do it? He baptized you. And don’t you know that all of us have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death (Romans 6:3). By His death on a cross, bearing your sin, Jesus Christ killed your sin and your death.
Now, in Baptism, Christ comes to you and claims You as His own. He says, “This one is mine!” And whether you know it or not, Christ knew all along He was going to come and do this. So Jesus Christ has come and joined you with Himself.
Certainly, you are not only united with Christ in a death like His, which puts the old self to death once and for all, but you are united with Him in a resurrection like His.
And this resurrection that you receive from Christ is not back into this old, dying creation, under the law that’s always demanding that you do one more thing. That's still where we find ourselves, but only for the time being. Instead, Christ's resurrection is to “newness of life"; that is, the new creation unto eternal life, free from the law and its demands.
The promise given in Baptism makes a new creation. And the new person believes–has no doubt–in the resurrection. This faith is not just knowing that God exists and that He is God. This faith is in something. It's in the promise given to Baptism: the forgiveness of all your sins on account of Christ. And this itself is eternal life. Because this promise is in your ears, you are made alive together with Christ.
Grace and peace,