Genesis 1:1 (ESV) … “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
This sentence is among the most profound statements ever written. But even here we must see that these words already take us beyond the farthest point that can be viewed by science.
Science can take us back to the big bang, to the moment of creation. But if that original, colossal explosion obliterated anything that came before it, as science suggests to us, then nothing before that point can be known scientifically, including the cause of the explosion.
Yet it is the Bible, that comes forward at this point to tell us simply, “In the beginning God.…” We may want to bring God down into our little microscope where we can examine him and subject him to the laws of matter, of cause and effect, where we hope to gain understanding. But fret as we might, God does not conform to our desires. He confronts us as the One who was in existence before anything we can even imagine and who will be there after anything we can imagine. Ultimately it is He alone with whom we have to do.[i]
“In the beginning God”. It says it all! For if we accept, in faith, the truth of this statement then we shall have no difficulty whatever in believing the rest of the Bible’s message. On the other hand, if we reject the truth of this opening statement then we shall not only find it impossible to believe much of what the Bible teaches, but we put our souls in grave peril.
Many Bible scholars describe the name of God (Elohim) as a ‘uni-plural’ noun, meaning that God is to be understood as being both ONE (unity) and more than One (Plurality) at the same time, thus foreshadowing the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament. The opening verses also anticipate the unity of the Godhead in another way. The statement “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” asserts that God is the source and origin of creation.[ii]
This God who creates never leaves the focus of our Bible. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul tells us, ‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.’ The work of God in the new creation of grace is beautifully symbolized in the creation of the world. As the creation of the world was the work of God alone, so the making of men and women as new creatures in Christ is the work of God alone.[iii]
In the new creation that Christ gives us, the sinner who is saved by grace repents, believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and walks with him in newness of life. But it began with God. In the beginning God! In the beginning God chose us in Christ (Eph. 1:4), predestined us to be his children (Eph. 1:5), and today ‘we love him, because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19).
Everything begins with God. Yet God never violates our free will to choose Him in return. This is the miracle of the new birth. If we understand this fact of divine revelation that is given in Genesis 1:1, then we shall not stray far from the truth that is found in Christ Jesus our Lord.