There are 2 books of the Bible which begin with this particular phrase. The very first words laid out in Scripture bear these words: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). In the New Testament, John begins his epistle, by inspiration, with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
Both of these books introduce themselves by going back to the beginning. Yet they both deal with very different facets of that beginning. When you put these two statements concerning the beginning of time together, they lead to a beautiful conclusion of the might and majesty of the creation.
John, in his writing, deals with the spiritual presence at the beginning of time. Unlike many in the modern world would have us believe, there was “someone” present in the beginning. It was not simply an accidental “big bang,” but there was an intentional cause behind it. John wrote that the Word both “was with God,” and “was God.” John continues by stating: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
John proclaims who was responsible for the creation. It was the one who was “made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). It was none other than Jesus Christ; thus advocating the presence, not only of the Father, but of the entire Godhead at the creation of the world.
Though John shows the spiritual side of the beginning, Moses, in the book of Genesis, lays forth the physical side. Just as important as who did the creating is what was created. Moses begins the book of Genesis by laying forth a premise: God created the heaven and earth. He then continues that he might prove the fullness of that premise. Over the course of the next 2 chapters, God through Moses will show how everything which is, or has ever been, found upon the face of the earth came into being. Whether it was the creation of light, the universe, and the earth itself on the first day, or the creation of man on the sixth day, the Bible clearly shows that all in the universe was created in that time frame. Paul emphasized the creative power of God (specifically Christ) as it was displayed in the creation when he wrote by inspiration, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17).
As sad as it is, there are many in the world, and some even in the church, who do not believe that God created all in 6 days. They believe in “theistic evolution,” the idea that God started the process, and then let evolution take over. Yet a study of Genesis 1 and John 1 leaves absolutely no room for such a conclusion.
An examination of the verses which follow these 3 great words in each of these 2 books leads man to see a complete picture of the beginning of time. That picture includes who was involved, how it was done, and what was accomplished. Let us always be mindful of what occurred “in the beginning.”