Our death with Christ is not an end in itself. By faith, we go on to life with Christ. Paul does not speak very often of “believing that” (again in 10.9; 1 Thessalonians 4.14), but the truth that genuine trust is based on fact runs through his writings. He strongly emphasizes the reality of Christ’s death, which is the basis of faith for the apostle. Here, he speaks of the faith that those who died with Christ will also live with Him. The Christian way is not negative. There is a death to an old way, it is true but, as the believer identifies with Christ in His death, he enters into newness of life. Day by day, he lives with Christ. We should probably see an eschatological dimension in the future tense here, but understand it in a way that does not obscure its application to Christian life here and now. The future tense applies from the standpoint of the death we died with Christ. It, thus, refers to the continuing life of the believer, though it is not confined to the here and now. Paul is saying that the believer lives with Christ now and that this union will be even more wonderful in the life to come.
From: The Epistle to the Romans by Leon Morris; The Pillar New Testament Commentary series (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988), p. 254. Commenting on Romans 6.8.
Leon Morris (1914-2006) was Principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia.