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Sylvester Stallone on Faith, Integrity, and Rocky Balboa

From the very first shot of Rocky, a painting of Jesus overlooks the determined but worn boxer. He’s sparring in a converted church-turned-gym and the viewer notes that these smartly placed spiritual references demonstrate the Hand of Providence throughout his life. Writer, Director and Actor Sylvester Stallone says, “The character of Rocky was built on the idea that he was chosen to do something. That’s why the first image in Rocky is the picture of Christ.”

But what does a movie about a boxer have to do with Christianity? “This is a story of faith, integrity and victory. Jesus is the inspiration for anyone to go the distance,” commented Stallone. You could compare his courage to that of David, who as the epic underdog, defeated the giant Goliath in battle or look at his integrity in comparison to Esther, whose uncle asked, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). No matter which way you look at it, it is easy to find similar themes between the Rocky movies and stories throughout the Bible.

Rocky Balboa, the popular boxing character created by Sylvester Stallone, returns to the ring in the Rocky film for the fight of his life! Against incredible odds, and with courage, integrity and faith, Rocky gives a powerful example of faith.

Rocky Balboa, which opens in theaters nationwide on December 20, is the latest installment in MGM’s Rocky film series. Rocky now owns Adrian’s, an Italian restaurant named for his beloved wife who has passed away. His grief heavy, the retired boxer struggles to connect with his son, Robert, and fills his lonely hours with his brother-in-law, reminiscing about the glory days.

When ESPN broadcasts a computer-simulated fight and declares Rocky the victor over the current heavyweight champion, his passion re-ignites and the aging Rocky is eager to return to the ring.

Stallone says that in the past, his ego and worldly temptation’s took over in his life and he went spiraling out of control. Rather than living like Rocky with some sense of ideal, he didn’t. “I thought I was entitled to things. You’re not entitled to anything,” Stallone says. “You are what you leave behind.” Stallone says the more he goes to church, and the more he turns himself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to his Word and helping him guide his hand, he feels as though the pressure is off himself.

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