The nature of God in Christianity is a debate fraught with difficultly. Chief among these difficulties is the establishment and nature of the Trinitarian doctrine. This doctrine states that there are three distinct persons (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit) unified by a single essence into a Triune God. This is probably the most central belief in Christianity, and it has been the subject of rigorous debate ever since the first days of the Christian movement.
The Trinity is a shockingly complex concept in Christianity. While major tenets of the belief can be found in nearly every modern version of Christianity, debate over the true meaning of the triune nature of God has berthed some of the most fundamental rifts between the different flavors of Christian belief. The theological lynchpin of the Great Schism (the separation of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches) is based on a one word difference in a confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed. The one word, filioque (and the son), deals exclusively with the nature of the Trinity.
It does not help that the debate is littered with obscure terms like filioque, perichoresis, hypostasis, ousia (and the variants of on this term: homoousios and homoiousios). If you do not have a degree in theology, or some intimate knowledge of classical Latin and Koine Greek, just looking at these words can scare away even the most curious reader. So today I am going to try to straighten out a few things about the Trinity and dispel some of the mystery surrounding a few of the terms above.
The Bible never directly references the Trinity by name, nor does it specifically require belief in the triune nature of God. However, it would be a mistake to think that the roots for Trinitarian belief cannot be found in the Bible. In forming the specifics of this belief certain passages in the Bible are relied upon heavily. Perhaps the most important verse is Matthew 28:19 (“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”). This unifying of three distinct persons (hypostases) in one essence (ouisa) as a fundamental part of the baptism ritual is the central building block of Trinitarianism.