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Verses 10-21

A. Divisions in the church 1:10-4:21

The first major problem that Paul addressed was the divisions that were fragmenting this church.

". . . this opening issue is the most crucial in the letter, not because their ’quarrels’ were the most significant error in the church, but because the nature of this particular strife had as its root cause their false theology, which had exchanged the theology of the cross for a false triumphalism that went beyond, or excluded, the cross." [Note: Idem, The First . . ., p. 50.]

Triumphalism is the belief that Christians are triumphing now over sin and its consequences to the exclusion of persecution, suffering, and some human limitations. It is sometimes, and it was in Corinth, an evidence of an over-realized eschatology, which is that we have already entered into certain blessings of salvation that really lie ahead of us in the eschaton (end times). Prosperity theology is one popular form of triumphalism.

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