It's a matter of standing versus state. I'm talking in terms of a baby's standing before God; you're talking about their state before God. In matters of standing: Babies are most certainly guilty of sin at birth: they are born with a sin nature. That is what I was referring to when I said that a baby isn't a sinner because it sins; it sins because it's a sinner. No one has to teach a baby, as it grows in the first couple years of life, to do wrong. Its natural bent is toward sin. If you want to call it ''guilty of being human,'' that's a fair description. Babies, as the rest of us, are guilty of being decendants of the first Adam, whose sin of disobedience and rebellion against God cursed the world and everything in it. Accordingly, if we can't be held guilty of another man's sin, as the Bible says we are when we're born ''in Adam,''(1 Cor 15:22) then why do we need a Saviour? Sure, death was passed on. And Romans 5:12 KJV plainly says that death entered into the world by sin. Romans 6:23 KJV plainly says the wages of sin is death. No sin=no death. If death is passed on, it's passed on because of the original presence of sin. If babies are sinless, then why do they sometimes die of illness, or in accidents, or in the case of SIDS, for no apparent reason? David said in Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. He also said iin Ps 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. What sin was committed by David's son, born of the adulterous affair with Bathsheba? The baby died in 2 Sam 12. Kinda looks like the baby was collateral damage to David and Bathsheba's sin as Nathan told him in verse 14 KJV Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. The point that sin isn't imputed when there's no law is valid when you consider that it was a point that Paul was making to the church at Rome. He used OT examples to explain NT truths more than once. In Galatians 3, he expounded on the relationship between the law and faith and in Romans 3:20 Paul said that by the law is the knowledge of sin. He was talking to Christians both times: the church in Galatia and the church in Rome, respectively. I used the Romans 5:12-13 passage as an example. (Paul also used the OT as an example in the passage he wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Cor 10, written for our admonition and learning.) What sin can the mentally deficient commit? That depends on your definition of ''mentally deficient.'' If you mean someone like the adults I cared for years ago at the Home I worked at, they're in the same category as babies because while their bodies were between 20 and 60 years old chronologically, they were stuck at the mindset of an infant. If you mean someone who is mentally deficient like my friend Vicki, she commits sin every day. She's also saved. She's 54, with the mentality of approximately a 12 year old. As for tempting a baby using its lusts, well, no one needs to do that for them. They're quite adept at doing it themselves, as I'm reminded of when I want to hold my six month old granddaughter and she doesn't want to be held. When she's screaming in my ear, it doesn't take much to figure out she wants Mommy to hold her, not Grandma. Try taking a toy or a bottle away from a baby who wants to keep it: they'll let you know they're not happy with you. Why do they do that? Because they're the most selfish, self-centred bunch going! Their lives are characterized by catering to their flesh. They're hungry, they have gas and are uncomfortable, they're wet, you took the bottle away from them too soon, they want their paci, the list goes on and on. Their little lives are all about me-me-me. They have to be taught manners, they have to be taught how to share: none of it comes naturally to them as it should if they weren't born sinners. (Plus, if they weren't born sinners, why is the Book of Proverbs loaded with child-rearing advice?) In matters of state: When my granddaughter is acting like the 6 month that she is, we overlook her selfish nature because she doesn't know any better. If she screams because her bottle's been momentarily taken away, we give it back to her. It was only taken away so someone could wipe her chin and we planned on giving it back to her anyway, but she doesn't know that. A baby's standing before God is that of an unbeliever, just by way of their being born in original sin. A baby's state before Him is one of innocence due to lack of moral awareness. Because of that lack of moral awareness, they can't choose to accept Christ's sacrifice for their sin. (Christ's sacrifice paid for every sin, btw, ones committed past, ones we're committing now, and ones we'll commit in the future.) Babies can't reject salvation any more than they can accept it. God not imputing sin to babies means that the Blood remains available to cover their sin till they develop that moral awareness and can choose to accept or reject Christ for themselves.