If someone is born, that primarily indicates the action of the female parent, but if someone is fathered, that indicates the action of the male parent. NET NASB Whoever is at the present believing in Christ, has been fathered by God in the past. Many times we will see grammatical arguments asserting the start or beginning point of belief is in view, and therefore we were fathered before we believed. However, if God is the one who decides whether we are "believing" or not, then the fathering would be contemporaneous with God deciding to accept the faith. However, all that is beside the point, the issue is should this verse be translated traditionally (born) or as does the NET (fathered.) The NET footnotes indicate by looking at 1 John 2:29 and 1 John 3:9 we see that John is using paternal imagery, and therefore "fathered" is indicated rather than born. Now to the nub of the issue, if "fathered" is in view rather than born, can the presentation of the gospel, having also believed, be referred to as "fathering." To make this even more unclear, when we look at 1 John 3:9 we see we have God's seed in us. Normally the "seed" is Christ, so this seems to be saying we have the Spirit of Christ in us. Thus to be "fathered" is to be sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit. Or at least that would be one way of looking at it.