Introduction: Do you agree with the views of your friends?
If you did not, would they be your friends? We are all
influenced by our culture, our friends, and what we read and
watch. Just because something is popular (or unpopular) does
not mean that we should adopt or avoid it. Instead, we must
always use the Bible and the direction of the Holy Spirit as
our guide. Consider our prior study of Jonah. He was a
nationalist, and popular with his people. That is the
direction in which God led him. But then God led him in a
direction that was more controversial and more dangerous.
Jonah had difficulty with that. Let’s dive into the Bible
and consider how we need to be careful about listening to
our friends and the culture as we share the gospel with

I. Solomon

A. Read 1 Kings 11:1-2. Have you heard people say,
“Love is love?” Did Solomon believe that love was
more important than God’s word? (Verse two
explicitly says that God prohibited marriage with
the women named in verse one. Verse two tells us
that Solomon violated God’s prohibition because he
“clung to these in love.”)

B. Read 1 Kings 11:3-4. How did marriage to these
women impact Solomon’s life?

C. Read 1 Kings 11:6-8. Solomon was one of the most
famous people on earth. What has happened to his
influence among pagans? (He no longer is an
influence for good. Rather, he is an influence for
evil. Instead of Solomon being an influence in
favor of the true God, his pagan wives are
influencing Solomon against the true God.)

D. Read 1 Kings 11:9-11. What is the personal impact
on Solomon for following his views on love and
disregarding what God commanded about sexual
relationships? (God turned against Solomon.)

II. The Canaanite

A. Read Matthew 15:22-23. Why did Jesus not respond to
the Canaanite woman? Is Jesus following the
Biblically correct path that King Solomon failed to

B. Read Matthew 15:24-26. What does this tell us is
the reason why Jesus did not speak to the Canaanite
woman? (She was not “of the house of Israel,”
therefore she was a “dog.”)

1. Was Jesus following the popular prejudices of
the day? (That is how it appears. Jesus is
showing prejudice by calling her a dog.)

C. Read Matthew 15:27-28. Now all is revealed. Is
Jesus sincere in calling her a dog and saying that
He was not sent to help her? (No. He is testing her
faith. He tells her “great is your faith,” and
then he performs a miracle for her daughter.)

1. What is the lesson here? Look back at
Matthew 15:23. On what side of the prejudice scale
were the disciples? (They were in favor of not
responding to her.)

2. What lesson do we learn from the woman? (If
you are the victim of bias and prejudice, you
need to press forward in your religious

3. Is it fair to say that the Canaanite woman
based her appeal on her religious faith? (Look
again at Matthew 15:22. She calls Jesus “Son
of David” and “Lord,” which the Barnes
Commentary says meant she thought Jesus was
the Messiah.)

III. Cornelius

A. Read Acts 10:1-2. Is Cornelius Jewish? Or he is
some sort of “dog?” (He is an Italian centurion
with a Roman name. It is unlikely that he is
Jewish, even though he is called “devout” and
described as fearing God and continually praying.)

1. Do you know important people who are not
members of your church? Are they serious
Christians? (My work brings me in contact with
powerful people. I have been amazed at how
many serious Christians work in high
government positions. God has His faithful
people everywhere.)

B. Read Acts 10:3-5. Do angels appear in visions to

1. What does this suggest about an attitude of
superiority over members of other churches? (I
recall my foolish attitude when I was a young
man. My uncle was a man of extraordinary faith
and an officer in the Salvation Army. I felt
that I was a superior Christian because I kept
the Sabbath. While I had a better
understanding of the Sabbath, my uncle was a
man who walked with God.)

C. Read Acts 10:9-10. An angel appears to Cornelius
and Peter falls into a trance while praying. What
do you think is the reason for the angelic message
and the trance? (Notice that both Peter and
Cornelius are praying. God responds to those who
seek Him.)

D. Read Acts 10:11-16. This raises a very important
theological issue. What should you do when the Holy
Spirit (or a messenger from God)tells you to do
something that contradicts the Bible? (I would
assume that the Holy Spirit (or a messenger from
God) would not contradict the Bible.)

E. Read Acts 10:17. What is Peter’s opinion about the
apparent conflict? (He is perplexed. He sees the
conflict and is not going to simply accept the
message in the trance.)

F. Read Acts 10:19-20. Why would the Holy Spirit have
to tell Peter to go with the men? (Read
Acts 10:28-29. This reveals the mystery. Peter would not have
visited a Roman centurion. But the vision of the
sheet is now made clear. It did not refer to eating
animals, it referred to associating with people.)

G. Read Acts 10:34-36. Would Cornelius have sent for
Peter without an instruction from God?

1. Would Peter have visited Cornelius without an
instruction from God?

2. Should we wait for an instruction from God to
share the gospel with people who are not
worthy? (Our instruction to do just that is
found in Acts 10:34-35.)

H. Read Acts 10:43-47. What happens that confirms the
prior messages given to Cornelius and Peter? (The
power of the Holy Spirit falls on these Gentiles so
that they speak in tongues.)

IV. Application

A. Why is the story of Solomon part of our study along
with the story of Cornelius? (We need to be alert
to God’s leading. Associating with pagans (in
Solomon’s case marrying them) can lead us astray.
On the other hand, we can and should convert pagans
to the gospel.)

1. Why did Solomon fail to convert his pagan
wives? (He rejected God’s directions. Compare
this to Cornelius and Peter who followed God’s
directions. If you want to covert pagans, as
opposed to being converted by pagans, you need
to pay close attention to God’s will.)

B. What do Cornelius and the Canaanite woman have in
common? (At least two things. First, they believed
in the true God. Second, they were willing to seek
a better relationship with God even if they were
the victims of prejudice and bias.)

1. It seems unlikely that Jesus would be calling
serious inquirers “dogs,” but He did. What is
the lesson in this? (Defeating bias based on
race and nationality goes two ways. First, we
should not display bias and prejudice. Second,
if we are faced with bias and prejudice we
carry the burden to refuse to internalize the
insult. Combating prejudice with prejudice is
not the Biblical approach.)

C. Are there some barriers of bias and prejudice that
can only be overcome with the aid of the Holy

D. Friend, are you willing to put aside the effects of
prejudice in order to advance the Kingdom of God?
If you struggle with this issue, why not ask the
Holy Spirit, right now, to cure this sin problem in
your life?

V. Next week: Esther and Mordecai.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
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