Let’s read these simple, yet profound verses. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NKJV). John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both verses start out with the same three words, “In the beginning.” Yet the main thought in Genesis 1:1 is on WHAT HAPPENED “in the beginning,” and in John 1:1 the emphasis is on WHO EXISTED “in the beginning.”

WHAT HAPPENED “in the beginning?” Of course the word “beginning” here is referring to “when time began” and we learn in these ten short words that when time began “God created the heavens and the earth.” How simple, yet sublime! This is the answer to the age-old question, “How did all things that we see begin?” There are 4 prevalent views of the origin of the universe:

1) PANTHEISM declares that “the universe and God are one.” In this view there was no beginning. God is eternal but GOD IS EVERYTHING; that is, all things in the universe are a manifestation of God.

2) MATERIALISM states that “matter is eternal.” In this view cosmic bodies were formed, along with vegetable and animal life, through “the working of the forces of physics, mechanics, etc.”

3) DEISM is the belief that “there was an eternal and infinite mind, but there was also eternal matter, and the two worked together to make the universe.”

4) THEISM says “an eternal Personality known as God brought all things into existence.”

Genesis 1:1 refutes “the eternity of matter” (views #2 and #3) and the theory that “God and the universe are one” (view #1) and it establishes the truth of THEISM. Of course it is by faith that we accept this truth, for obviously no one was there but God when He created all things. Hebrews 11:3 reads, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

WHO EXISTED “in the beginning?” The first six words of John 1:1 provide the answer, “In the beginning was the Word.” That little word “was” means “existing.” One could paraphrase the opening words of John 1:1 by saying, “When anything else began the Word was existing.” Creation HAD A BEGINNING, but the Word ALWAYS WAS, so He had NO BEGINNING! Who is the Word? John 1:14 tells us, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we say His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (NASB). The Word is the eternal Son Who became flesh and lived among us! This explains the words of Jesus in John 8:58, “Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” He didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I was,” which might mean that He came into existence before Abraham. Rather, He uses the Name of God: I AM! Jesus Christ is eternal, the “self-existing One,” the great “I am.”

We also learn in John 1:1 that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We have seen that the Word, who is the Son of God, has an ETERNAL EXISTENCE, but here we also learn that He has a DISTINCT PERSONALITY and that He is TRULY GOD. We may not be able to grasp this with our finite minds, but faith allows us to believe it in the same way we believe the truth of Genesis 1:1.

Let me close by quoting John 1:2-3, “He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (NASB). Verse 2 reinforces His eternal existence and verse 3 adds the fact that HE IS THE CREATOR. Genesis 1:1 teaches us that the whole triune God was involved in creation, but we learn here that the Word was the ACTIVE AGENT in the creation of all things. I would encourage you to also read Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2.  (195.1)  (DO)