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Many think they are 'born again' when they are baptised on receiving the Holy Spirit as a gift from God.

However, it seems apparent from the scriptures that being 'born from above' happens at our transformation at Christ's return.

In this life we are given a 'deposit', a 'pledge', a 'guarantee' only.

And God has prepared us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a pledge of what is to come. 2 Cor 5:5

he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. 1 Cor 1:22

Don't be astonished that I told you, 'All of you must be born from above.' John 3:7

Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. John 3:6

unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

flesh and blood is not able to inherit the kingdom of God, nor does decay inherit immortality. 1 Cor 15:50

( 'born from above' is the translation commonly rendered 'born again')

What scripture supports being 'born from above' in this life?

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. - 1 Peter 1:3-5

Later in the chapter (starting at verse 13) Peter begins to explain that we are called to holy living and the reason he gives is that we have been born again:

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God - 1 Peter 1:20-23

This phrase "having been born again" (αναγεγεννημενοι) is:

a participle derived from the verb marked similar below. Its tense is perfect (which indicates a present-tense report of an action that has been completed but has effects in the now; like: "he has done"), its voice is passive (which indicates that the subject receives the action in stead of performs it), and its mood is participle (i.e. a verbal form that's used as an adjective or adverb). This form's case is nominative (which usually indicates subject), its number is plural, and its gender is masculine.

This is much like the statement of John 5:24:

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Where "has" (εχει) is

Its tense is present (which indicates that the action is in the now), its voice is active (which indicates that the subject performs the action, in stead of receives it), and its mood is indicative (which describes a situation that actually is — as opposed to a situation that might be, is wished for, or is commanded to be).

And where "has passed" (μεταβεβηκεν) is

Its tense is perfect (which indicates a present-tense report of an action that has been completed but has effects in the now; like: "he has done"), its voice is active (which indicates that the subject performs the action, in stead of receives it), and its mood is indicative (which describes a situation that actually is — as opposed to a situation that might be, is wished for, or is commanded to be).

Just as Paul often refers to the previous state of "dead in trespasses and sins" as opposed to the present state of "alive in Christ", so the one who has believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God goes from being dead to being alive.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ - John 3:6-7

That which is born of flesh (and flesh only) is dead (spiritually) and does not have spiritual life until "born again" by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is an actual event that takes place immediately in the present upon repentance of sin and faith in the Son of God and has continuing effect unto eternity, hence it is said that the believer has eternal life and will never be condemned.

Faith in a misrepresented or misunderstood Christ, one who is less than the only begotten Son of God, does not effect the new birth and many who are called Christian have yet to be born again because they have not believed in the name of God's only Son.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. - John 3:18

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  • Do you not see the future context of your passages? (While conveniently ignoring the ones I put forth) "kept in heaven for you" (so you have not got it yet!), not of perishable seed but of imperishable ( a seed isn't the true life/plant, but of what will grow) – user47952 May 23 at 7:08
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    @user47952 Of course there is a future aspect of salvation, otherwise what is there to hope for? "It has not yet been made manifest what we shall be." But there is also a clearly present aspect of salvation which is carried forward as a present possession from an actual event in the past. "Whoever believes HAS PASSED from death unto life." In the Son we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved. The past tense part has to happen for the present and future tenses to be available. – Mike Borden May 23 at 13:17
  • If you are still flesh - I assume you are, then you are not born of the spirit. You are born of the spirit by God's spirit when you will be made imperishable. When sprit is born of spirit, you cannot die anymore. You may well be 'set aside' for such a glorification, but is is only a promise in this age. The fulfilment is rebirth into a new spirit life that cannot be taken away. One may die tomorrow and will wait in the dirt until the day of the Lord and then - they will be born of the spirit into the kingdom for ever. So say the texts when read together. – user47952 May 23 at 13:28
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    @user47952 Death for the child of God is separation of imperishable spirit from perishable flesh. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die , yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” My friend, if you do not know that you have eternal life it is because you have not been born again (so say the texts when read together). 1 John is written so that those who are believing and who have life in His name may know that they have eternal life. – Mike Borden May 23 at 13:49
  • Lol, yes, but when you are made alive again, should you die, you will be born of spirit and imperishable! You will no longer be fleshly. That’s why, ‘he who IS born again will not sin’. – user47952 May 23 at 21:01

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