I watched the dvd "Rocky Balboa" yesterday and I was really inspired by its Christian message. Huh? A Christian message from Sylvester Stallone?
Well, I don't think Sly intentionally preached a Christian message but I managed to see it. There was one scene where Rocky was confiding in a lady friend on not being sure whether his decision to come out of retirement to box again was a right one. She told him,"Fighters fight."
What's so Christian about this? Well, whether we like it or not, we Christians are all fighters for we are called to fight "the good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12). May we be like Paul who says,"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (1 Tim 4:7-8)
How do we fight this fight of faith? "We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments." (2 Cor 10:4) The fight of faith is fought in the mind; we have to renew our minds, leaning not on our own human reasoning and rejecting erroneous teaching, and we fight by listening for "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Rom 10:17).
We need to listen to the message that glorifies Christ and His finished work on the cross. We need to listen to the message that helps us to "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge" (Eph 3:18-19). We need to listen to messages such as the following:
1. Christ — The Power And Wisdom Of God
2. He Who Gets Jesus Gets Everything
3. Neither Adversary Nor Evil Occurrence When You Rest In Christ
4. You Are A New Creation In Christ — Old Things Have Passed Away!
5. Being Christ-Occupied And Not Self-Occupied
6. Living Under The Protection Of The Blood Of Christ
7. As Christ Is, So Are We In This World
(Those who are interested in the above sermons by Pastor Prince may wish to take up Malcolm's offer and borrow the cds from him as 22 Media has already clarified that borrowing the physical cd is considered fair use)
Another lesson I saw in the dvd was from the penultimate fight between Rocky and the reigning undefeated heavyweight champion. During the fight, you see Rocky being knocked down time and again by the champion but he gets up and charges on and gets in a few punches of his own ... which is exactly like what Paul says in 2 Cor 4:
1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Every time life's troubles come at us and tries to knock out our faith, let us be like Rocky, not backing down and keep charging on and "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7). I was most inspired by this scene of Rocky in the dressing room before he stepped into the boxing arena. His ex-opponent-turned-friend reading from the bible said to him, "Zechariah 4:6 says it is not by strength, not by might but by His spirit we have already claimed the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ."
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:57) Yes, even before we step out into the boxing arena, we already have the victory in Christ! Can you see the slogan in the picture? It says, "Never give up. And never stop believing."