Sylvester Aaron "Sly" Stallone (born July 6, 1946 in New York City) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He is the writer and starring actor of the "Rocky" movies, where he plays the fictional boxer Rocky Balboa. The films are, by order of release date: Rocky (1976), Rocky 2 (1979), Rocky 3 (1982), Rocky 4 (1985), Rocky 5 (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006). Rocky, the boxer who overcame all odds to fight for love and glory has become a part of the American cultural lexicon.

In the great underdog story Rocky Balboa is a Philadelphia club fighter who seems to be going nowhere. But when a chance puts him in a ring with the world heavyweight champion, Rocky knows that it’s his one shot at the big time - a once in a lifetime opportunity to go the distance and come out a winner! With his later wife Adrian at his side, Rocky fights for the title and more importantly, for his own self-respect. In the latest movie "Rocky Balboa" long retired Rocky Balboa discovers he has not lost his fighting spirit and considers an opportunity to prove himself in the ring one last time.

Some actors, who are christians in real life, appear in the Rocky movies as Mr. T (James "Clubber" Lang, opponent of Rocky in part 3), Tony Burton (Tony "Duke" Everson, trainer of Rocky Balboa) or Antonio Tarver (Mason "The Line" Dixon, opponent of Rocky in Rocky Balboa). Mr. T is a preacher and Tony Burton attends Immanuel Baptist Church. Antonio Tarver said in an interview: "You know, my God is Jesus Christ. I believe in God."

Stallone’s movie "Rocky Balboa" reflecting the star’s conviction that life is about following Christ, not battling it out alone. Although Hollywood has recently taken note of values-based films that include elements of faith, the 30-year-old Rocky story displayed these concepts long before the media was paying attention. "The movie Rocky Balboa will hopefully bring forward Rocky’s more spiritual side," Stallone says. "I really love this character, he’s a part of me and I’m longing to bring him back." "The story of a spiritually-convicted Rocky who reads the Bible before each fight was written out of the actor’s own life experience, Stallone said."

On a call with pastors Stallone shared, "The more I go to church, and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now." "It’s like Rocky was being chosen, Jesus was over him, and he was going to be the fellow that would live through the example of Christ," Stallone said in a conference call with pastors and religious leaders. "He’s very, very forgiving. There’s no bitterness in him. He always turns the other cheek. And it’s like his whole life was about service." Stallone said, he wants to communicate to audiences the importance of attending church and receiving support in living out Christian faith.

"If you don’t have a great relationship with God, you can go off the deep end," Stallone states. "The Christian foundation of life is really the perfect ideal which one should base every decision they make on, because it comes from a sense of kindness, a sense of giving, a sense of fairness, and it avoids everything which I’m exposed to every day in my particular industry which is greed, and avarice and jealousy and bitterness."

"Rocky Balboa is by far the one where he really relies upon faith. Remember the first man he fought in Rocky 1, in the opening titles when Rocky’s being pummeled by this huge man? Well that same huge man, 30 years later, is homeless, and Rocky has given him a home. This man, Spider Rico, is very religious, and Rocky takes him on as a spiritual advisor. Spider is reading Scripture to Rocky before he faces the most difficult battle of his life. So there’s a journey in there."

"The journey of Rocky was kind of like mine. I was raised in a Christian home, and was taught the faith and went as far as I could with it until one day I got out into the so-called real world. I was presented with temptation and I lost my way and made a lot of bad choices. I felt the character of Rocky sort of did that too. He just didn’t have the right guidance. And then he was given an opportunity in the movie - like he was being chosen. Jesus was over him and he was going to be the fella that would live through the example of Christ.  And I said, ‘Man, if I could take my story, my feelings, and put it into the body of a boxer - because no one cares about an actor so much - the boxing is symbolism of the constant fight, and the example of Christ,’ I thought, ‘this would be really interesting’ and that’s exactly what happened. It was like an unexpected gift, really. There’s a divine guidance, a God-force out there that if you open yourself to it, you can actually feel the heat, the weight, the presence."

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2. Tim. 4,7)

"As a matter of fact the first thing Rocky does after he leaves the ring, he points right up to God. Right before the fight he’s read scripture. At the very end, as the people are applauding his farewell, he points up to the heavens so he understands where his strength comes from. He’s not under any illusion that he was born with incredible gifts but he was born with the fire and the need to carry on God’s work - that is bringing people together and that’s what he does in this film. He brings a lot of broken people together because he himself is broken."

"Some people maybe try to justify their laziness. You take out what you put in and the more I listen to the word of Jesus and have him guide my hand I feel the pressure’s off me now. I really do. If you put in the time you will reap the benefits. And for example, and this is the truth, and maybe it sounds egotistical, but the movie has been reviewed by Newsweek and Variety and the L.A. Times, and they’ve all said that it’s my best writing and best acting ever and I can only assume that it’s because of this letting go and this lack of egoism. I didn’t care where the camera was put - I didn’t care about lighting. All I cared about was getting out the message that I knew I was supposed to get out."

"It’s all about self-sacrifice and love - it’s hard work and perseverance and everyone should have the warrior spirit. It’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘we.’ All of us have something to give inside. It’s like Rocky says, we have something in our basement. Give it - don’t just horde it to yourself. You have a lot of love to give and a lot of service you can give to other people. And the last is, you should overcome your past with some help. If you look to God, you can overcome your past and be reborn and that’s what Rocky is, he’s reborn."

Stallone developed a free leader’s resource kit, in association with Motive Entertainment, to help pastors and church leaders utilize the film’s Christian message. The kit includes a free downloadable leader’s guide address the issues of courage, integrity, faith, victory and purpose, the Christian Examiner reported. The guide has several approaches tailored to meet the varying needs of pastors, youth leaders and parents.

Christian resources for the movie are available at:

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