Sermon for 12.24.22 “Promises made, promises kept”

Sermon for Christmas Eve 2022

Text: Luke 1:38-56
Theme: Promises made, promises kept

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The text for our consideration this evening is the Gospel of Luke,
chapter 1, verses 38-56, which was read earlier.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 933:1 My Soul Rejoices
My soul rejoices,
My spirit voices—
Sing the greatness of the Lord!
For God my Savior
Has shown me favor—
Sing the greatness of the Lord!
With praise and blessing,
Join in confessing
God, who is solely
Mighty and holy—
O sing the greatness of God the Lord!
His mercy surely
Shall rest securely
On all who fear Him,
Love and revere Him—
O sing the greatness of God the Lord!
Text: © 1991 Stephen P. Starke, admin. Concordia Publishing House. Used by
permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110000247


A. Have you ever taken a walk or driven somewhere just to take in the
sights, sounds, smells, etc. of the day?
B. Tonight’s series of short homilies will be like that walk or drive.
1. In preparation for the yearly festival of Christmas, where we remember
the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let us for a few moments
stop and think, to ponder anew on the promises God has given us as
believers that find their fulfillment in Christ.

Promises made, promises kept (part 1)

Promise #1: Promise of the Savior

Luke 1:37-38, 45
(37) For nothing will be impossible with God.”
(38) And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me
according to your word.” And the angel departed from her…
(45) And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of
what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
A. Only God can make this or any other promise to Mary or us and keep it.
1. Why? God is able to do so and has the power to back up His promises.
B. The Lord seeks to bless His people with the Savior.
1. The Lord is not hungry for power or vindictive;
2. He longs to use His power to bless us with everything that is perfect,
holy, and good.
Promise #2: Promises of physical and spiritual blessings.

A. Psalm 37:3
(3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend
1. Trust in the Lord–> He never fails us!
2. Do good by helping others along the way.
B. Proverbs 3:5-6
(5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own
(6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
1. God gives you blessings wherever you are.
2. Example: Short story of my car breaking down while attending seminary.
Promise #3: Promise of unlimited blessings.
A. Psalm 31:19
(19) How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear
You; You have worked for those who trust in You before the sons of men!
1. God blesses us with faith, trusting in Him for salvation!

B. 2 Chronicles 20:6
(6) and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You
rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and
might, so that none is able to withstand you.
1. God has all things and I mean all things under His control!
→ We sing the hymn.
Promise #4: Promise of prayers answered.
A. 1 Kings 18:37-38
(37) Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O
LORD, are the true God and that you are winning back their allegiance.”
(38) Then fire from the LORD fell from the sky. It consumed the offering,
the wood, the stones, and the dirt, and licked up the water in the trench.
B. Luke 1:13
(13) But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your
prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you
will name him John.
1. This then is the prayer of faith: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not
mine. Do to me what You see as best. Amen.
Promise #5: Promise of spiritual fullness.
A. John 10:9-11
(9) I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will
come in and go out, and find pasture.
(10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so
that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
(11) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the
B. John 14:6
(6) Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me.
1. In these verses, there are three “I Am” statements:
A. They describe of who Christ is and what He does.
B. These verses take us back to what we hear in Exodus 3 (Moses and the
burning bush; “I Am” was first used).
C. Jesus is Life and He gives life!
Promise #6: Promise of spiritual light in the darkness.
A. John 1:4-5
(4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
(5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not
overtake it.
B. John 9:5
(5) As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
1. Christ is the Light of the world and in Him there is no darkness at all!
2. What is the purpose of the Light?:
A. To expose our sins
B. Provide the remedy that is needed
→ We sing the hymn.
Promise #7: Promise of power for service.
A. Matthew 5:16
(16) Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
B. James 2:17-18
(17) Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself.
(18) But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your
faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works.
1. The power to believe in the Lord comes from God himself!
2. The power to do good comes from God Himself (the power of the Holy
Spirit) working through our faith!
Promise #8: Promise of eternal life in heaven for those who trust in Christ.
A. We know what John 3:16 says, but what about John 3:14-15 and 17-18?
B. John 3:14-15, 17-18
(14) But even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so
must the Son of Man be lifted up,
(15) so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.
(17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but
so that the world might be saved through Him.
(18) He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe
is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the
only-begotten Son of God.
C. John 5:24
(24) Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My Word and believes on Him
who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but
has passed from death to life.
1. Without Christ, there is no salvation.
2. Without Christ, you have absolutely nothing.
3. With Christ, there is no condemnation.
4. With Christ, you have everything.
Promise #9: Promise of salvation (tied in with promise #8).
A. 1 Corinthians 1:18, 27-31
(18) For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost,
but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are
despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things
that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
(30) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom
and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
(31) so that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory
in the Lord.”
B. Matthew 28:18-20
(18) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to
Me in Heaven and in earth.
(19) Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
(20) teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And,
behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
C. 2 Corinthians 8:9
(9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was
rich, for your sakes He became poor, in order that you might be made rich
through His poverty.
D. Matthew 7:24-27
(24) Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will
liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.
(25) And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and
beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock.
(26) And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them
shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
(27) And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the wind blew and
beat on that house. And it fell, and great was its fall.
1. Don’t be ashamed of God and His Word!
2. This Word (Law and Gospel) is for ALL people, not for a select few.
3. Make sure your foundation is secure, grounded in the Rock and not the
4. The Lord has blessed us with the best gift anyone could have ever given:
A. Jesus Christ Himself, true Man, born of Mary, True God, born of heaven!
B. Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord! Amen.
E. Let us pray:
LSB 384:5 Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Christ, to Thee, with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
And unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore. Amen.
Text: Public domain
F. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
G. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
→ We sing the hymn.