The Ekklesia of Christ Sings
Jesus said, "...upon this rock I will build my church (ekklesia) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, emp LS). The ekklesia (the saved) of Christ: 1) met on the first day of every week (Sunday, Acts 20:7); 2) ate the Lord's supper on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7); 3) prayed together (Acts 2:42). Singing was also a vital part of the worship of the ekklesia of Christ.
Jesus and His disciples sang hymns, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:30). A hymn "denotes a song of praise addressed to God" (W.E. Vine, pg. 241).
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them" (Acts 16:25). The apostle Paul, verbally inspired of God, taught the ekklesia to sing, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19).
Please notice these very important points: 1) Paul was addressing the ekklesia, the saved at Ephesus; 2) the church was commanded to sing "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs"; 3) and they were to sing "speaking" to one another; 4) and they were to make melody in their hearts, not with mechanical instruments of music; 5) and they were to sing "to the Lord".
Paul taught the ekklesia at Colossae, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). Please notice that: 1) the songs that were to be sung was the same as letting "the word of Christ dwell in you"; 2) singing was a means of "teaching and admonishing one another"; 3) no mechanical instrument of music can do any of this.
Paul taught the ekklesia at Corinth, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" (I Corinthians 14:15). One must have the proper attitude when singing; and the song and the singing needs to be understood.
James teaches that singing is the language of those that are happy, "Is any merry? let him sing psalms" (James 5:13).
Finally, we have the writer of the book of Hebrews quoting from the book of Psalms, "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (Hebrews 2:12).
If we are going to be like the ekklesia we read about in the New Testament, we must NOT use mechanical instruments of music in our worship but sing with our mouths and from the heart to God.