The word partners is found twice in this passage. The words speak of fellowship. They also speak of being fellow labours. They speak of being associated one with the other, being a partaker, and companion one with the other. These men were partners in fishing, and now God is going to cause them to be partners in ministry as well.
A. Involves Union.
1. You cannot have a partnership unless you are together.
2. We need one another.
3. It is clear that God did not intend for us to be alone.
4. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen 2:18)
B. Involves more than just union, it involves unity.
1. You can tie two mad dogs together and you will have a union.
2. But you will also have a real mess on your hands.
3. Unity is where you are not only together, but you are in agreement with one another.
4. David wrote, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Ps. 133:1b
C. Partnership involves union, unity, and harmony.
1. There is harmony when everyone functions in their responsible area to achieve the desired goal.
2. Bro. Jamey has been working hard to bring about harmony from the choir.
3. When the sopranos, altos, tenors, and bass all come together at the right time and on their respective notes...there is harmony!
4. When there is no harmony...things just don’t come out right.
II. We Need to be Partners.
A. Together we can accomplish much more than any one of us could do alone.
B. Together we find strength and encouragement when we are down.
C. Note: Eccl. 4:9-12
III. We Need to be Partners in Ministry.
A. Partners in Prayer.
1. "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." (Mat 18:19)
2. God wants us to be people of prayer.
3. We need to be attentive to our personal prayer life.
a. Through prayer, the Christian can find FORGIVENESS for sins cf 1 Jn 1:9
b. Through prayer, the Christian can find PEACE to replace anxiety. cf Ph 4:6-7
c. Through prayer, the Christian can receive STRENGTH from God through His Spirit. cf Ep 3:14-16
4. But we need to pray together as well.
a. The early Christians prayed together often...
b. In times of trouble: cf Acts 4:23- 24; 12:5,12; 16:25
c. In times of departure: cf Acts 20:36; 21:5
d. There is a sweetness of fellowship and sense of strength comes when God's people pray together.
B. Partners in Burdens.
1. Note: Gal. 6:1-4
2. There are two truths taught in these verses.
a. We need to be sharing our burdens with others and we need to share other’s burdens.
b. But we are also responsible to bear our own burdens.
c. Burdens can be anything that is difficult for us to bear, that which weighs us down.
3. By application, we become partners in one anothers burdens...we don’t sit back and selfishly refuse to help, nor do we let someone else do what we should be doing.
4. We are partners in this area of burden bearing!
C. Partners in Stewardship.
1. The Bible says that as believers, we are not our own any longer.
2. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Cor 6:20)
3. The price was paid at Calvary with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
4. Now everything about us, every possession we have, every ability that we have, every talent that we possess no longer belongs to us...it belongs to God.
5. As a result, Paul says that we are "... labourers together with God:" cf 1 Co. 3:9
6. The work of the local church here and around the world moves forward as we are partners in stewardship.
7. Partners not hitchhikers!
D. Partners in reaching others.
1. Note v10 of our text, "...Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men."
2. We must work together to reach our community and this world for Christ.
3. Everyone having a part ... that is the key.
4. Illustration of holding the ropes.
5. Note: 1Co. 3:6-9
We are partners together in ministry. In business there is such a thing as ‘silent partners’ and ‘ghost partnerships’. We don’t find that in the Word of God. We all need to work together to accomplish the goals that God has set down for us in His Word.
Will you commit yourself to being the partner that God would have you to be? In our text we find men who were partners in the fishing business. When they needed help, they called or beckoned to one another to get involved in accomplishing the task at hand.